Orbital vs Subshells

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405318478
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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Orbital vs Subshells

Postby 405318478 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:59 pm

What is the difference between subshells and orbitals? Many practice questions asked to determine the number of orbitals/subshells from a given set of quantum numbers, for example, "how many orbitals can have the given quantum numbers: n=2, l=1."

I do know that "number of orbitals" = N squared, and "number of subshells" = 2l+1, but what exactly these terms refer to I'm unclear on.

Ashley Kao 1H
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Orbital vs Subshells

Postby Ashley Kao 1H » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:07 pm

I believe that an orbital is located within a subshell. Thus, the subshell will be 1s, 2s, 2p, etc. Within the subshell is an orbital which will hold the electrons. This includes the specific location (ex: 1s^1, 1s^2, 2s^1, 2s^2, 2p^1, etc.).

Jacey Yang 1F
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Orbital vs Subshells

Postby Jacey Yang 1F » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:37 pm

Each value of l is a subshell, and within each subshell are orbitals. The magnetic quantum number ml labels individual orbitals.
For example, when l=2, ml= -2,-1,0,1,2 meaning there are 5 d-orbitals.

Christineg1G
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am
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Re: Orbital vs Subshells

Postby Christineg1G » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:44 pm

Orbitals within a shell are divided into subshells that have the same value of the angular quantum number l, which determines which orbital the element is in (s,p,d,or f).
l=0, corresponds to the s orbital, l=1 corresponds to the p orbital, l=2 corresponds to the d orbital, and l=3 corresponds to the f orbital.


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