Shell vs. Orbital

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Kayli Choy 2F
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:17 am

Shell vs. Orbital

Postby Kayli Choy 2F » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:50 pm

What is the difference between a shell, a subshell and an orbital? Are the terms subshell and orbital interchangeable?

Esha Chawla 2E
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Shell vs. Orbital

Postby Esha Chawla 2E » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:54 pm

Kayli Choy 4E wrote:What is the difference between a shell, a subshell and an orbital? Are the terms subshell and orbital interchangeable?


The differences between these terms becomes increasingly clear when you look at the respective quantum numbers. The shell is represented by "n," or the principal quantum number. The subshell is represented by "l," which represents the shape (s, p, d, or f). Finally, the orbital is represented by "ml." Examples of subshells would include the Px, Py, or Pz orbital.

Christineg1G
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Re: Shell vs. Orbital

Postby Christineg1G » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:11 pm

Shell=All electrons are in the same shell when they have the same value for n (the principle quantum number)
Sub-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
Orbital= When electrons share the same n, l, and ml, they're in same orbital

Jamie Lee 1F
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Re: Shell vs. Orbital

Postby Jamie Lee 1F » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:20 pm

Electrons that have the same value of n (principle quantum number) are in the same shell. Period 2 (for example) elements are all in the same shell.

Electrons with the same l value (orbital shape) are in the same sub-shell. These would be the s-block, p-block, d-block, and f-blocks.

An orbital is made up of a pair of electrons with the same n, l, and m values. When you write electron configuration, your 1s^2 is an orbital, as is 3p^4, and so on.


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