Two electrons per orbital

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Alex Chen 2L
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

Two electrons per orbital

Postby Alex Chen 2L » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:52 pm

I know that every orbital (represented by the first three quantum numbers) can support up to 2 electrons. However, s-, p-, d-, and f- orbitals have different shapes, so why is the number electrons for each orbital consistently two?

Sydney Myers 4I
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Two electrons per orbital

Postby Sydney Myers 4I » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:04 pm

The reason that each orbital is limited to two electrons is because of electron-electron repulsion. The reason that two electrons can coexist in an orbital is because they have opposite spins, which is the lowest energy state. Since there are only two states that electrons can exist in an orbital, there can only be two electrons in the orbital.

Jada Brown 2H
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Two electrons per orbital

Postby Jada Brown 2H » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:07 pm

As stated above, there are only two electrons in each due to the repulsion of negatively charged electrons and their opposite spins. It is also important to remember that the "shape" of the orbitals is not actually a true shape, but rather a representation of a math function showing the probability of finding an electron.

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