Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

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Ariel Fern 2B
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:17 am

Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Ariel Fern 2B » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:06 pm

Just wanted to share a clarification on something I used to mix up all the time. Shells refer to the principal quantum number (n); subshells refer to the angular momentum quantum number (l); and orbitals refer to the magnetic quantum number/subshell orientation (ml). When something is referred to as a s-orbital or p-orbital, that refers to the orientation of the s or p subshell. I used to think that s, p, f, d, etc. were actually the orbitals because they were referred to that way, but I realized that they are actually subshells! Hope others weren't confused by this because it threw me for a loop at first!

Ellen Amico 2L
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Ellen Amico 2L » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:09 pm

I was super confused about this in class at first too but this is really helpful! Thanks so much for the tip!

Sebastian Lee 1L
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Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Sebastian Lee 1L » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:11 pm

Yes, I believe that is correct! I also used to think that the subshells were "orbitals".

Sjeffrey_1C
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Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Sjeffrey_1C » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:29 pm

This is really important, thanks! I feel like most high school teachers didn't make those distinctions very clear, so it's easy to get confused.

Shutong Hou_1F
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Shutong Hou_1F » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:42 pm

Thanks a lot for your clarification for these clarification of terminologies. I have been confused by these terms while reading questions to solve for days.

Nare Arakelian Dis 3E
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Nare Arakelian Dis 3E » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:59 am

So would it be correct to say that there are 3 p subshells in each shell or energy level?

IreneGi4C
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby IreneGi4C » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:07 am

I have a little confusion about shell (n). How do we determine what n is?

Abigail_Hagen2G
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Abigail_Hagen2G » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:04 pm

n is just the energy level of the electron, the principal quantum number, and sort of shows the size of the orbital

Kimme Chun 1I
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Re: Shell, Subshell, Orbital Terminology

Postby Kimme Chun 1I » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:48 pm

This is super helpful. Thank you for the clarification.


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