Now, there exists a relationship between our subshell or sublevel and the orbital shape. We're going to say that the sublevel letter gives information on the orientation of the orbitals that electrons occupy. And when we say orientation, we're just talking about the traveled path the electron takes, and this traveled path resembles different types of shapes. Now if we're talking about the sublevel letter of s, its orbital shape is just a sphere and it's just one shape. Now, if we're talking about p, then we're talking about 3 dumbbells or 3 ellipses. We've used that term before, 3 ellipses. Each one of these shapes corresponds to an atomic orbital. So the p subshell has 3 orbitals attached to it. Each one looks like ellipses. Then we're going to say that the d subshell letter has connected to it 5 different orbitals. The first four look like 4 leaf clovers, and the 5th shape looks like an ellipse with a ring around it. Now, of course, we know that there is another sublevel letter and that is f. We're going to say it's ignored because it has the most shape and is beyond the scope of this course. So what you should have noticed is as we go from s p to d, the number of shapes is increasing. We start out with 1, then 3, then 5, so the pattern is we're adding 2 more shapes each time. So, technically, if we wanted to look at the f sublevel itself, we'd expect it to have 7 different shapes because, again, we keep adding 2 to the number of shapes as we go from s to f. Again, you don't need to know what these f subshell letter shapes are, just realize that there's a lot of them. Okay? So keep this in mind when we're talking about subshells and orbital shape, that there is a connection between the two.

- 1. The Chemical World9m
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- 4. Atoms and Elements2h 33m
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# Electronic Structure: Orbitals - Online Tutor, Practice Problems & Exam Prep

The relationship between subshells and orbital shapes is crucial in understanding electron configurations. The s subshell has one spherical orbital, while the p subshell contains three dumbbell-shaped orbitals (px, py, pz). The d subshell features five orbitals, four resembling four-leaf clovers and one shaped like a dumbbell with a ring. The f subshell, though not covered in detail, is expected to have seven orbitals. Each subshell letter indicates the number and shape of orbitals, essential for grasping atomic structure and electron behavior.

Orbital gives the orientation of electrons in a set of orbitals.

## Electronic Structure:Orbitals

### Electronic Structure: Orbitals Concept 1

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### Electronic Structure: Orbitals Example 1

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Based on the following atomic orbital shape, which of the following set of values is correct? Alright. So what we have here is we have an ellipse with a circle around it or a dumbbell with a circle around it. We know that that is connected to a particular subshell letter. Remember, up above, we said that that's connected to the subshell letter of *d*. So that means the answer can only be *c* or *e*. But how do we determine which one is the better answer? Well, remember the limitation of our *n* value. *N* is connected to the period or rows of the periodic table. The limitation on *n* is that it has to be a value that is from 1 to infinity. Can't ever be a number less than 1, so *n* equals 0 here is not possible. That means that option *e* would have to be our correct answer.

Which of the following orbitals possesses the most orbital shapes?

### Electronic Structure: Orbitals Concept 2

#### Video transcript

Recall that an orbital is the region within a subshell where 2 specific electrons can be found. Now, an easy way to understand what an orbital is, realize that it's a combination of your shell number with your subshell letter. So, for example, if you're dealing with the 3rd shell, and let's say we're dealing with our subshell letter of p, 3p would represent an orbital. So just remember, an orbital itself is just your shell number and sublevel subshell letter combined together.

### Electronic Structure: Orbitals Example 2

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Provide the identity of a set of orbitals that exist in the 4th energy level and p sublevel. Alright. So first of all, we're going to say that the 4th energy level is associated with the 4th shell, which means n=4. It also means that it's literally the number 4 that defines that set of orbitals. So here we have 4 and we have 4. So the answer is going to be either b or c. Next, it tells us that we have a p sublevel. Remember, that's the letter that goes right after the number. They're telling us that it's p, so we're dealing with a p4 set of orbitals, which means that option c is the correct answer.

### Electronic Structure: Orbitals Concept 3

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Now before we go into the different shapes involved with these sets of orbitals, realize that they are connected to our subshell letter. Remember, our subshell letters are spdf. And when it comes to the f subshell or sublevel, remember that it is beyond the scope of this course. So let's go back up. When we're dealing with the s subshell or sublevel, realize that it has connected to it one orbital, which is represented by this red box. That orbital has a specific shape attached to it, which is just a sphere.

When we're dealing with the p subshell or sublevel, it itself is broken down further into 3 sets of orbitals. So when we talk about 3p, for example, 3p is composed of 3 of these orbitals. Now, we're going to say that they are shaped like ellipses or dumbbells, and we're gonna say the part that's shaded in is the most likely region where an electron will reside. We're gonna say that they each have their own designation of p_{x}, p_{y}, and p_{z}. Now this is in reference to a coordinate graph. So remember if we have this graph here, this is y, this is x, and this can be seen as z. So when we're saying p_{x} that means it resides on the x-axis, when we say p_{y} that means it resides on the y-axis, and when we say p_{z} it resides on the z-axis. Okay. So that's where these letters are coming from.

For d, we're going to say here that d has 5 shapes because it has 5 different orbitals. And we're gonna say that these orbitals are d_{yz}, d_{xy}, d_{xz}, d_{x2y2}, d_{z2}. Now of course, you don't have to memorize these specific descriptions for each of these orbitals because that's way too complicated and beyond the scope of this course. What you do need to remember is that when it comes to the d subshell or sublevel, it has 5 different orbitals. The first 4 are shaped like 4 leaf clovers, and the 5th one is shaped like a dumbbell with a ring around it.

When it comes to the f subshell or sublevel, it has attached to it 7 different orbitals. Each of them would have their own shape, but again, their shapes are beyond the focus or scope of this course, so don't worry about it. Just realize that when it comes to the f subshell or sublevel, it has 7 sets of orbitals. Alright. So just remember that our subshell letter or sublevel letter is connected to our sets of orbitals, each with their own unique shape.

Which of the following statements is false?

a) A set of *d* orbitals contains 5 orbitals.

b) A set of 4s orbitals would have more energy than a set of 3p orbitals.

c) The second shell of an atom possesses *d* orbitals.

d) A set of *f* orbitals contains 3 orbitals.

e) The first energy level contains only *s* orbitals.

### Here’s what students ask on this topic:

What is the relationship between subshells and orbital shapes?

The relationship between subshells and orbital shapes is fundamental in understanding electron configurations. Each subshell (s, p, d, f) has a specific number of orbitals, each with a unique shape. The s subshell has one spherical orbital. The p subshell contains three dumbbell-shaped orbitals (px, py, pz). The d subshell features five orbitals, four resembling four-leaf clovers and one shaped like a dumbbell with a ring. The f subshell, though not covered in detail, is expected to have seven orbitals. These shapes help determine the regions where electrons are most likely to be found, which is crucial for understanding atomic structure and electron behavior.

How many orbitals are in the p subshell and what are their shapes?

The p subshell contains three orbitals, each with a dumbbell shape. These orbitals are designated as px, py, and pz, corresponding to their orientation along the x, y, and z axes, respectively. The dumbbell shapes indicate the regions where electrons are most likely to be found. Understanding these shapes and orientations is essential for grasping how electrons occupy space around the nucleus and how they interact with other atoms.

What are the shapes of the d orbitals?

The d subshell contains five orbitals, each with a unique shape. Four of these orbitals resemble four-leaf clovers, while the fifth orbital is shaped like a dumbbell with a ring around it. These shapes are designated as d_{xy}, d_{yz}, d_{zx}, d_{x2-y2}, and d_{z2}. These complex shapes help determine the regions where electrons are most likely to be found, which is crucial for understanding the chemical bonding and properties of transition metals.

Why is the f subshell often not covered in introductory chemistry courses?

The f subshell is often not covered in introductory chemistry courses because it has seven orbitals, each with complex shapes that are beyond the scope of basic chemistry education. These shapes are more intricate and require a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics. Introductory courses focus on the s, p, and d subshells to provide a foundational understanding of electron configurations and atomic structure without overwhelming students with the complexities of the f subshell.

How do you determine the number of orbitals in a given subshell?

The number of orbitals in a given subshell can be determined by the subshell letter. The s subshell has 1 orbital, the p subshell has 3 orbitals, the d subshell has 5 orbitals, and the f subshell has 7 orbitals. The pattern is that each subsequent subshell adds 2 more orbitals than the previous one. This pattern helps in understanding the arrangement of electrons in an atom and predicting the chemical behavior of elements.