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I know that quantum number ml corresponds to a specific orbital. However, I was wondering how you know that when n =2 l= 1ml= -1, it's 2px. Specifically, how does the coefficient and charge of ml help you determine whether it's x, y or z or even x^2...?
In lecture it was said that the ml numbers are relative. So, there is no set specification between -1, 0, 1 for the p orbital x, y, z. In these cases you can specify which number matches which orbital on your own. However, in lecture it was also stated that if the question goes along with a certain table which tells you which ml number should match a specific orbital, then you must follow the table's designation.
when n=2 and l=1, we know that we are dealing with the p orbitals and p has 3 orbitals. Therefore, the ml values are -1, 0, and +1. The first electron will go into the -1 (px) orbital. The second electron will go into the 0 (py) orbital. The third electron will go into the +1 (pz) orbital. Then the next three electrons will double up. The fourth electron will go into the -1 (px) orbital. The fifth electron will go into the 0 (py) orbital. The sixth electron will go into the +1 (pz) orbital. So, depending on the amount of electrons, we know which orbitals are filled and with how many electrons. Hope this helps!
Lavelle discussed in the lecture that the orientations of the electrons are all relative. Take l=1, so ml could be -1,0,1. We can't really say which orbital state the first electron will be in, so I think as long as you keep the orbitals consistent, you should be fine. I hope this helped!
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