Orbitals vs. Shells

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Eileen Si 1G
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:17 am

Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Eileen Si 1G » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:17 am

What is the difference between an orbital and a shell?

Kurtis Liang 3I
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Kurtis Liang 3I » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:27 am

A shell is the broad term used to describe an energy level where the electrons reside (same value of n). Within a shell, there are subshells, which also have the same value for l. Orbitals are the specific term to describe where the electrons reside, such as in s or p.

Haley Chun 4H
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Haley Chun 4H » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:37 am

Shells are the n value, subshells are the l value, and orbitals are the ml value (s,p,d)

Lindsey Chheng 1E
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Lindsey Chheng 1E » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:54 am

Eileen Si 3H wrote:What is the difference between an orbital and a shell?


Level or Shell: the level or "ring: that the electron occupies, which is the Principal Quantum Number (n)
Orbital: a single shape that can hold up to 2 electrons (ex: px, py, or pz)
- for this class, we are expected to know the shapes of s, p, and d

Sally Qiu 2E
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Sally Qiu 2E » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:04 pm

a shell is the energy level, which is n. orbitals are denoted by ml, and are the shapes that can hold up to 2 electrons. i'll attempt to give an example: n=2, l=1, so we have 2p. there can be 3 values for ml, so we have px, py, and pz. if you remember high school chemistry and electron configuration, this may look familiar to you: 2p_ _ _, where the up and down arrows are drawn on the dashed lines, and the lines correspond with the number of ml values (i also don't know if i'm explaining this correctly so correct me if i'm wrong).

Robert Tran 1B
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Orbitals vs. Shells

Postby Robert Tran 1B » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:11 pm

Shells describe a general energy level, while the orbital shows where the electron is likely to be. Although orbitals can also differ slightly in energy levels, orbitals within the same shell are clumped around the same energy level.


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