# I How many orbits are in the hydrogen atom?

1. Dec 1, 2016

### LSMOG

How many orbits are in the hydrogen atom?

2. Dec 1, 2016

### dextercioby

There is no orbit in the H atom.

3. Dec 1, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

As @dextercioby pointed out, the question is at best not correctly formulated.

If you are asking how many energy levels, or orbitals, there are in a hydrogen atom, then the answer is infinity. There is no upper bound to the principle quantum number n.

4. Dec 1, 2016

### mikeyork

A stable hydrogen atom has its electron in only one state -- its ground state: n = 1, l = 0. The quantum number l is the quantum equivalent of the classical idea of the angular momentum of an orbiting electron. Electrons do not "orbit" in that classical sense.

5. Dec 1, 2016

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
If you are asking for how many possible energy states that are available for a hydrogen atom, then the answer is "infinite".

If you are asking for how many energy states that are occupied by a neutral hydrogen atom in its ground state, then the answer is "one".

If you realize, after reading this far down the thread, that your question is rather vague, then you're starting to learn not only about physics, but also a bit on how this forum works.

Zz.