## What are subshells

Vincent Leong 2B
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am

### What are subshells

On the practice problems that were assigned, why are the s, p, d, and f orbitals considered subshells? I thought they were always orbitals. In this case, why do subshells contain orbitals within them? What's the difference between the 2?

Chem_Mod
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### Re: What are subshells

s, p, d, and f do correspond to orbitals. However, they exist within shells of an atom and are thus deemed subshells. You can think of a certain principal quantum level (n) as a shell, that may consist of s, p, d, or f "subshells," each of which have specific orbitals such as px, py and pz.

This link may help: https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/que ... d-orbitals

Sean Cheah 1E
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:20 am

### Re: What are subshells

As posted above, the letters s, p, d, and f are refer to subshells, which, as their name implies, are subsets of shells. Each of these subshells contain one or more discrete orbitals that are represented by the various possible orbital angular momentum quantum numbers for a given shell and subshell. Though it's common to casually refer to orbitals by the shell and subshell they are contained within, if you wanted to be more specific, you could formally refer to each of the three orbitals contained within the p subshell, for example, as the $p_{x}$ orbital, the $p_{y}$ orbital, and the $p_{z}$ orbital, respectively.

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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: What are subshells

s, p, d, and f are generally considered subshells, not orbitals. Each subshell then contains orbitals within it.

For example, the s subshell contains one orbital while the p subshell contains three (px, py, and pz) orbitals.

Lizette Noriega 1H
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: What are subshells

The letter, s, p, d, and f, refer to subshells which are orbitals that correspond to already existing orbitals. Each of the subshells has its own orbitals as well. For example, the s subshell has 1, the p subshell has 3, and so forth.