How Many Orbitals in an Atom Can Have Each of the Following Designations?

When studying chemistry, one of the fundamental concepts is the electronic configuration of atoms. The electronic configuration of an atom determines how the electrons are arranged in orbitals around the nucleus. Orbitals are the regions around the nucleus where electrons are most likely to be found. Each orbital can have a maximum of two electrons, and the number of orbitals in an atom is determined by the type of designation given to them. In this article, we will explore how many orbitals in an atom can have each of the following designations.

s Orbitals

The s orbitals are spherical and symmetrical in shape and are designated by the letter ‘s’. An s orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons. The number of s orbitals in an atom is determined by the principal quantum number ‘n’. The principal quantum number represents the energy level of an electron in an atom. The number of s orbitals in an atom is equal to the value of ‘n’. For example, if the value of ‘n’ is 1, then there is only one s orbital in the atom. If the value of ‘n’ is 2, then there are two s orbitals in the atom.

p Orbitals

The p orbitals are dumbbell-shaped and are designated by the letter ‘p’. A p orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons. The number of p orbitals in an atom is determined by the value of ‘n’. For each value of ‘n’, there are three p orbitals designated as px, py, and pz. For example, if the value of ‘n’ is 2, then there are three p orbitals in the atom designated as 2px, 2py, and 2pz.

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d Orbitals

The d orbitals are designated by the letter ‘d’. A d orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons. The number of d orbitals in an atom is determined by the value of ‘n’. For each value of ‘n’, there are five d orbitals designated as dxy, dyz, dzx, dx^2-y^2, and dz^2. For example, if the value of ‘n’ is 3, then there are five d orbitals in the atom designated as 3dxy, 3dyz, 3dzx, 3dx^2-y^2, and 3dz^2.

f Orbitals

The f orbitals are designated by the letter ‘f’. An f orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons. The number of f orbitals in an atom is determined by the value of ‘n’. For each value of ‘n’, there are seven f orbitals designated as fy(3x^2-y^2), fxz, fxyz, fz^3, fx(x^2-3y^2), fyz, and fz(x^2-y^2). For example, if the value of ‘n’ is 4, then there are seven f orbitals in the atom designated as 4fy(3x^2-y^2), 4fxz, 4fxyz, 4fz^3, 4fx(x^2-3y^2), 4fyz, and 4fz(x^2-y^2).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the number of orbitals in an atom is determined by the type of designation given to them. The s orbitals can have a maximum of two electrons and the number of s orbitals in an atom is equal to the value of ‘n’. The p orbitals can have a maximum of two electrons and the number of p orbit

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