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Homework Help: # of electron states in a subshell

  1. Dec 14, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The number of electron states in a subshell with orbital quantum number l = 3 is:
    A. 7
    B. 9
    C. 14 <-- answer
    D. 2
    E. 3

    I am reviewing for a comprehensive final and maybe its all the studying but I am lost here..

    2. Relevant equations

    l= 0--> (n-1)
    m = -l to l

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Okay so far I have that if l = 3 then m = [-3,...,3] and that n= 4. Do I just add them up 3+7+4 to arrive at the answer? Is this representative of the different combinations? Orbitals are the one subject I consistently have difficulty with in chem/phys. Thanks for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2011 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Me too - go back to basics: one electron per |n,l,m,s> state.

    for l=3, there are 7 possible values for m, with two spin states each = 14 total.
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