Homework 2.29 - Atomic Orbitals and Electrons

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Crystal Escobar 1F
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Homework 2.29 - Atomic Orbitals and Electrons

Postby Crystal Escobar 1F » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:31 pm

The question asks how many electrons can have the following quantum numbers in an atom.
A) n=2, l=1 This orbital is 2p and 6 electrons can have these values
B) n=4, l=2 ml=-2 With n and l the orbital is 4d. I would assume that 10 electrons can have these values but the solution manual says two elections, how does the ml effect the answer?

Divya Prajapati 1E
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Homework 2.29 - Atomic Orbitals and Electrons

Postby Divya Prajapati 1E » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:43 pm

The quantum numbers of an electron basically are its "address" in an atom. The more quantum numbers provided, the more specifically we can locate an electron. This is just like getting the street name of a person's address, instead of just their city or state. It allows a narrower description of where the electron can be, thus reducing the number of electrons which can be identified with those numbers.

In the case of part (b), ml = -2 indicates a certain orientation of the d-orbital. We know there are 5 possible d orbitals, which can be indicated by ml = -2, -1, 0, 1, or 2. By specifically naming ml = -2, we are referencing just ONE of these 5 possible orbitals. Therefore, while there are 10 total electrons in the d subshell, we are only concentrating on the 2 electrons located in one of these orbitals.


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