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Postby 505166714 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:33 pm

How can I interpret the meaning of degenerate? How should I answer the question on test2 that asks about the degeneracy of a 4p orbital?

MaanasO 1A
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Re: degeneracy

Postby MaanasO 1A » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:09 pm


So degeneracy refers to the same energy level, BUT this is not the same as the principal quantum number N. Remember Prof Lavelle's drawing of the orbitals in lecture? He drew 1s, then a line for 2s, and then 3 lines for 2p. All of the orbitals in the same subshell (s, p, d, f) are expected to have the same exact energy level. In other words, an electron in 2px wouldn't have any more or less energy than an electron in 2py. Now, technically this doesn't hold true for d-orbitals, but that's beyond the scope of the class. Since the p subshell has 3 orbitals, its degeneracy would be 3.

Hope that helps!

Grace Kim 1J
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Re: degeneracy

Postby Grace Kim 1J » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:12 pm

Degeneracy means the electron orbitals have the same energy level.

To determine the degeneracy of orbitals,
Consider the three orbitals s, p, d:
s orbital
l=0; the ml would be 0, therefore no degeneracy
p orbital
l=1; the ml would be -1, 0 +1, therefore degeneracy=3
d orbital
l=2, ml would be -2, -1, 0 +1, +2 , therefore degeneracy=5

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