Orbitals and Energy Levels

Diana A 2L
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am
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Orbitals and Energy Levels

Are orbitals different from energy levels? The relationship between the two is unclear to me. Are there orbitals within different energy levels? Is whether an electron is located in a certain energy level unrelated to what orbital it is in, or is there a connection between the two?

Jacob Motawakel
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Re: Orbitals and Energy Levels

within the energy level, the volume of space is called the orbital.

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

Re: Orbitals and Energy Levels

If it helps, you can think of the various quantum numbers for electrons as a hierarchy of sorts. Starting from the bottom going up, the spin quantum number ($m_{s}$) represents the spin of a given electron. The magnetic quantum number ($m_{l}$) represents the specific orbital that contains that electron. Each of these orbitals can hold a maximum of two electrons that must have differing spins. The angular momentum quantum number represents the shape of the orbital where the electron can be found and is also referred to as the subshell (e.g. s orbitals have l=0 and are spherical). Lastly, the principal quantum number (n) represents the energy level of your subshell.

Tl;dr: At most two electrons of differing spins can fit in each orbital. Each subshell contains one or more orbitals. Each energy level contains one or more subshells.