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How can I tell how many electrons can fit in a subshell?
- When figuring the electron configuration for an element, how do you know how many electrons go in each subshell(orbital)?
A subshell is a set of electrons that all have the same value of (azimuthal quantum number). You can think of as a label for a group of orbitals that have related shapes.
A subshell with =0 is called an s subshell and contains spherical orbitals; a subshell with =1 is called a p subshell and contains dumbbell shaped orbitals; a subshell with =2 is called a d subshell and contains (mainly) orbitals that look like 4-leafed clovers.
The number of possible orbitals in a subshell is determined by the number of possible m values for the subshell. Think of m as a label for individual orbitals within the subshell. For every m value that is allowed, there is one orbital in the subshell.
Allowed values of m are integers between - to +, including zero.
The number of possible m values determines the number of orbitals in a subshell.
||possible values of m
||number of orbitals in this subshell
||-1, 0, +1
||-2, -1, 0, +1, +2
||-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3
Each orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons, so the maximum number of electrons you can put into the subshells are
2, 6, 10, and 14 for s, p, d, and f subshells, respectively.
Author: Fred Senese firstname.lastname@example.org