## variable l

Athena L 1B
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

### variable l

In some of the quantum problems, they list l as a variable, but I can't find what l actually means. (l is lowercase L here) Does anyone know what it means?

Camille Marangi 2E
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

### Re: variable l

'l' is the orbital angular momentum quantum number. What this means is that it can tell us the subshell that an electron is lying in. 'l' can equal n-1 and any value below that. So 'l' could potentially be 0,1,2,...n-1 depending on whatever principle quantum number the problem is giving you. Pro tip: when l=0 the electron is in the s-orbital, when 'l'=1:p-orbital, 'l'=2:d-orb, 'l'=3:f-orb. Hope this helped!

Olivia Young 1A
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

### Re: variable l

The variable 'l' represents the orbital angular momentum quantum number, therefore it relates to the shape and type of orbital. The values of 'l' define the subshell that an electron belongs to, and there are 'n' different values of 'l' such that 'l' ranges from 0 to n-1. So, in the n=1 shell, 'l' is equal to 0, because n-1 equals 0 in this instance. When 'l' is equal to 0, the electron belongs to the s-orbital, 'l' = 1 corresponds to the p-orbital, 'l' = 2 represents the d-orbital, and 'l' = 3 produces the f-orbital. 'l' is defined as the orbital angular momentum quantum number because it can help determine the rate that the electron circles around the nucleus, and when 'l' is equal to 0, the electron has no orbital angular momentum.