Now the shell of an atom can be further divided into subshells, also known as sublevels, with each one assigned a variable letter. Alright. So we have our shell numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. We're going to say here that our subshells that can be linked to these numbers are: if \( n = 1 \), then the subshell letter that is possible is \( s \). If \( n = 2 \), then the possible values are \( s \) and \( p \). If \( n = 3 \), then the possible values are \( s, p, \) and \( d \). And if \( n = 4 \), then the possible variables that are possible, the possible barriers that exist are \( s, p, d, \) and \( f \). So realize that as the \( n \) value increases, the variable letter involved increases. Here, we're not going to go past the variable of \( f \). So if we did \( n = 5 \), we'd still be dealing with \( s, p, d, \) and \( f \) at that point. Okay? So just remember, these are your 4 variable letters that are possible tied to the shell number of an.

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# Electronic Structure: Subshells - Online Tutor, Practice Problems & Exam Prep

The shell of an atom is divided into subshells, or sublevels, identified by letters. For shell number n=1, the subshell is s; for n=2, it's s and p; for n=3, s, p, and d; and for n=4, s, p, d, and f. As n increases, the number of subshells also increases, but does not exceed f. Understanding these subshells is crucial for grasping electron configurations and the behavior of elements in chemical reactions.

Subshell designation gives the shape of an orbital within a subshell.

## Electronic Structure:Subshells

### Electronic Structure: Subshells Concept 1

#### Video transcript

### Electronic Structure: Subshells Example 1

#### Video transcript

What are the possible values for n and subshell letter for an electron found in the 3rd energy level and d sublevel? Alright. So we're going to say here that if you are in the third energy level or the 3rd shell number, that means your n = 3. So automatically option a is out and option c is out. The answer is either option b or option d. Next, it tells me that I'm dealing with a d sublevel. Well, remember, a sublevel and a subshell are the same thing. So it's telling me the variable for the sublevel, and therefore the subshell — they'd be the same. So the subshell letter would still be d. That means that my answer has to be option b. So that'd be the correct answer out of all the choices that were given.

Provide all the possible values of the subshell for a 2 energy level.

0

0, 1

0, 1, 2

0, 1, 2, 3

1

How many sublevels are contained in the third shell (n = 3) for a given atom?

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

What are the subshells associated with each principal quantum number (n)?

The subshells associated with each principal quantum number (n) are as follows: for n=1, the subshell is s; for n=2, the subshells are s and p; for n=3, the subshells are s, p, and d; and for n=4, the subshells are s, p, d, and f. As the principal quantum number increases, the number of subshells also increases, but it does not exceed the f subshell. This pattern is crucial for understanding electron configurations and the behavior of elements in chemical reactions.

How do subshells relate to electron configurations?

Subshells are integral to electron configurations, which describe the arrangement of electrons in an atom. Each subshell (s, p, d, f) can hold a specific number of electrons: s can hold 2, p can hold 6, d can hold 10, and f can hold 14. Electrons fill subshells in order of increasing energy, following the Aufbau principle, Hund's rule, and the Pauli exclusion principle. Understanding subshells helps predict the chemical properties and reactivity of elements.

Why do the number of subshells increase with the principal quantum number?

The number of subshells increases with the principal quantum number (n) because each shell can accommodate more complex electron arrangements as n increases. For n=1, only the s subshell is available. For n=2, both s and p subshells are available. For n=3, s, p, and d subshells are available, and for n=4, s, p, d, and f subshells are available. This increase allows for a greater number of electrons and more complex electron configurations, which are essential for the diverse chemical behavior of elements.

What is the maximum number of electrons that can occupy a subshell?

The maximum number of electrons that can occupy a subshell depends on the type of subshell: the s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons, the p subshell can hold 6 electrons, the d subshell can hold 10 electrons, and the f subshell can hold 14 electrons. This is determined by the formula 2(2l+1), where l is the azimuthal quantum number corresponding to the subshell (0 for s, 1 for p, 2 for d, and 3 for f).

How do subshells affect the chemical properties of elements?

Subshells affect the chemical properties of elements by determining the distribution of electrons in an atom. The arrangement of electrons in different subshells influences an element's reactivity, ionization energy, and bonding behavior. For example, elements with similar electron configurations in their outermost subshells often exhibit similar chemical properties and are grouped together in the periodic table. Understanding subshells helps predict how elements will interact in chemical reactions.