Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

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Joanna Pham - 2D
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Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Postby Joanna Pham - 2D » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:14 am

Could someone please explain what the difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital is? I don’t really see the difference between them.

Chem_Mod
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Re: Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 am

Shells are the circular paths around the nucleus of an atom along which the electrons move. The shells are represented by principal quantum number n.

Each shell consists of one or more subshells. There are four sub-shells: s, p, d, and f.

An orbital is the space where the probability of finding an electron is highest. Each subshell contains one or more orbitals. To be exact, s consists of only 1 orbital, p consists of 3 orbitals, d consists of 5 orbitals, and f consists of 7 orbitals. And each orbital can contain at most two electrons.

Jada Larson 1F
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Re: Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Postby Jada Larson 1F » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:52 pm

Do the subshells (s, p, d, and f) correspond to the orbital angular momentum quantum numbers (l=0, 1, 2, 3)?

Odalys Cuevas 1C
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Re: Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Postby Odalys Cuevas 1C » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:04 pm

Jada Larson 1F wrote:Do the subshells (s, p, d, and f) correspond to the orbital angular momentum quantum numbers (l=0, 1, 2, 3)?



I think that each subshell does correspond to the orbital angular momentum quantum numbers. For example, s would correspond to 0, p to 1 and so on. It's an effective way to know from what number you are starting an ending (for f it would be -3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3 since its quantum number is 3).

CarinaVargas1J
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Re: Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Postby CarinaVargas1J » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:03 pm

All electrons that have the same value for n (the principle quantum number) are in the same shell

Within a shell (same n), all electrons that share the same l (the angular momentum quantum number, or orbital shape) are in the same sub-shell

When electrons share the same n, l, and ml, we say they are in the same orbital (they have the same energy level, shape, and orientation)


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