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The p subshell has 3 possible orientations, where one of the three orbitals can exist. They describe the axes where the lobes of the orbital lies. So, Px lies on the x-axis, Py lies on the y-axis, and Pz lies on the z axis.
Last edited by MeghetyManoyan1A on Sun May 13, 2018 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So the principle quantum number, n, tells you the number of shells. The angular quantum number, l, tells you the subshell and orbital types (so s, p, d, or f, etc). The magnetic quantum number (ml) tells you the different orientations of the orbitals of that orbital type. For example, the p orbital has three possible ml values (-1, 0, 1), so the three orbital types would be px, py, and pz. So x, y, z is used to describes the various orbital orientations within that subshell.
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