## Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

Joanna Pham - 2D
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

### Difference between a shell, subshell, and orbital

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

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.

Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

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

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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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

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

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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Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:00 am

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

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)