Orbital, subshell and shell

hi everyone,

i am reading a book recently. and it talks a little bit about the electonic configuration of the elements and mentions orbital, subshell and shell. i am really confused then.
how are the electrons moving around the atoms? isn't it like moving on the surface of a sphere? what are the differences between "orbital, subshell and shell" and how to distinguish between them?

i will really appreciate your help.

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Hi

Hi, u r Chinese??! What a surprise!
I'm clear about this in Chinese, but use English, I can say little.
U know, electron is sth. that is not only wave or particle, it is sth. between wave and particle- can u understand me?- So u cannot use Newton's classical mechanics to explain its movement. U must use quantum mechanics. And orbital comes. Orbital is different from orbit, it is based on wave function. Oh, my English is so poor... I cannot say more.
If u want to know more, e-mail me. I'll tell u in Chinese.
dittoli@gmail.com

read heisenberg's uncertainity principle

read the heisenbergs uncertainity principle from a book, also read plancks theory, bohrs atomic model, understand and memorize the periodic table..it will help through out your life.

quantum & classical mechanics is the foundation of all phenomenon in universe...

eg: how does tv signals stream thru coaxial copper cable, how does blood transport oxygen in our body, why do lightnings occur and a zillion other questions.

if you want answers to all of them..write to me...

read heisenberg's uncertainity principle

read the heisenbergs uncertainity principle from a book, also read plancks theory, bohrs atomic model, understand and memorize the periodic table..it will help through out your life.

quantum & classical mechanics is the foundation of all phenomenon in universe...

eg: how does tv signals stream thru coaxial copper cable, how does blood transport oxygen in our body, why do lightnings occur and a zillion other questions.

if you want answers to all of them..write to me...

First: Electrons aren't actually moving around like one would think. This would be a problem because if an electron was actually rotating around the nucleus it would always have centripetal acceleration. Therefore it would emit radiation.

To understand what an orbital is we have to know the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. It says (simplified) that the position of the electron is not clearly determined. Since we don't know its exact position, we have to calculate an area with a great chance that the electron is in it. This area we call orbital and the electron behaves like it is evenly spread out in that area.

Shells, subshells and orbitals are organization units in the atom. You start with the principle quantum number n=1,2,3,...
there you have the first shell, second shell, ...

each shell is divided into subshells according to
l=0,...,n-1 (the number of subshells increases with the principle quantum number) subshells give the shape of an orbital
(physically the magnitude of the magnetic moment)
shells are also called s (l=0), p (1) , d (2), f (3)

with each subshell we have the shape of the orbital, now we need the next quantum number (magnetic quantum number) that determines the direction of the orbital (actually the direction of the magnetic moment)
it goes according to ml=-l, ..., l
e.g. with l=0 you just have one s-orbital
with l=1 you have 3 p-orbitals
l=2 5 d-orbitals
l=3 7 f-orbitals

finally in each orbital you can put 2 electrons with opposing spin
ms=-1/2 or +1/2

This would be a little summary about what you asked. I don't know if it was written clearly enough. Tell me if it helped you.

why are oribitals named s, p, d, f

do s, p , d, f stand for something?

answers to s,p,d,f

The orbital names s, p, d, and f stand for names given to groups of lines in the spectra of the alkali metals. These line groups are called sharp, principal, diffuse, and fundamental.

lines

s,p,d,f stand for the quality of light and line in the electromagnetic spectra.

and "g" stands for "gah! not ANOTHER set of orbitals! :? "

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