# Orbitals & Subshells

## Orbitals

Orbitals are the region around a nucleus where there is a high probability of locating an electron. There are 4 kinds to be aware of now:

1. s-orbital
2. p-orbital
3. d-orbital
4. f-orbital

### S-Orbital

An s-orbital refers to an orbital spherical in shape. There is only one type of s-orbital.

### P-Orbital

A p-orbital refers to an orbital along a single axis. There are three kinds of p-orbitals:

• $$p_x$$
• $$p_y$$
• $$p_z$$

The subscript refers to the axis along which the orbital takes place.

### D-Orbital

A d-orbital refers to an orbital along two axes. There are 5 kinds of d-orbitals:

• $$d_{x^2-y^2}$$ (this orbital lies on the x and y axes)
• $$d_{xy}$$ (this orbital lies in between the x and y axes (diagonally, if you will))
• $$d_{xz}$$ (same as $$d_{xy}$$, just without the y axis but with the z axis)
• $$d_{yz}$$
• $$d_{z^2}$$ (this lies on the z axis with a spherical donut thing looping around the center, where the 3 axes intersect)

### F-Orbital

Information on this is not needed for now. Just note that this is very rare and that there are 7 kinds of f-orbitals.

### Fitting Electrons into Orbitals

Each orbital has enough room for no more than 2 electrons.

## Subshells

A subshell is a group of (degenrate) orbitals. A p subshell, for example, will refer to $$p_x$$, $$p_y$$ and $$p_z$$ orbitals. The types noted above are the respective s-subshells, p-subshells, d-subshells and f-subshells.

### Degenerate Orbitals

The same type of orbit, but in different directions.

### Fitting Electrons into Subshells

This is simply the sum of the total electrons that can fit into a subshell. Remember that an orbital can have no more than 2 electrons. Hence, if the p-subshell (as an example) as 3 types of orbitals, then a total of 6 can fit in the subshell.

#### S-Subshell

Maximum electrons: 2

#### P-Subshell

Maximum electrons: 6

#### D-Subshell

Maximum electrons: 10

#### F-Subshell

Maximum electrons: 14

This article was written on 02/10/2023. If you have any thoughts, feel free to send me an email with them. Have a nice day!