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Why are orbitals called s, p, d, and f?

  1. Nov 17, 2004 #1
    Why are orbitals called s, p, d, and f? I know how they work I was just wondering how did they get that specific abbreviation?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2004 #2
    Yeah,
    I asked this in chem. class also. I was wondering why it wasn't a, b, c, d, instead of s, p, d,.. My teacher said,"I don't know!"

    **Although, she's not the brightest teacher** Not as an insult, just a opinion.

    Paden Roder
     
  4. Nov 17, 2004 #3

    movies

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    They stand for sharp, prinicpal, diffuse, and fundamental. They arise from an antiquated understanding of emission spectra. Spectroscopists didn't have a good idea of what was happening with the atoms themselves, so they tried to group the spectra they observed. When we got a better understanding of orbitals, the names stuck around.
     
  5. Nov 20, 2004 #4
    Electrons are attracted to protons, but repell electrons. So, instead of all the electrons being bunched up right next to the nucleas, they orbit around the nucleas in shells. These shells can sometimes contain sub-shells. For example, the first shell contains only one sub-shell. As an electron gets further away from it's atom, it must have more "quantum energy." Electrons want to get as close to the nucleas as possible, but according to quantum physics, no to electrons can have the same "quantum energy." So, they orbit in shells. The electrons orbit in orbitals. The sub-shells have orbitals. For example, the 1 shell has an S orbital. Because it's an s orbital and it's the first shell it's labelled 1S. For 1-First shell-, S-S orbital. An S orbital has the shape of a sphere. An orbital wants to fill it's self. Alright, so why would the atom want to have 8 electrons in it's outer most shell, good question. The second shell has two sub-shells. One sub-shell has an S orbital, and the second has three P orbitals. The reason it has three is because they can arrange themselves according to X,Y,Z. Each orbital has only two electrons, because no two electrons can have the same "quantum energy." So, for the valence shell of an atom with two shells, one S orbital and three P orbitals. Two electrons an orbital adds to...8. Hydogen, on the other hand, only has one shell. So, to fill it's valence shell, it only needs two electrons. It already has one - Hydogen = one proton, one electron - so, it only needs to bond with one atom to fill itself. Carbon, on the other hand, has two shells, so it needs 8 to fill it's valence shell. So....

    H
    H C H Methane!!! CH4.
    H

    If you were to count it up everyone's filled. The carbon atom has 6 electrons. 2 in it's first shell, and 4 in it's valence shell. It needs 8 in it's valence shell. So, it shares one with hydrogen, and the hydrogen shares one of the carbons. This gives the carbon an extra electron, and the hydrogen it's desired two. The carbon, then, bonds with three more to add to 8.

    HOH Water!!! H20. Oxygen has six valence electrons, meaning it needs 2 to gain, which it does with 2 hydrogen molecules.

    O=O Oxygen!!! O2.

    You're probably wondering, why is there an equals sign between the Oxygen molecules?
    This indicated a double bond. Oxygen has six valence electrons, when it bonds with another oxygen, it gets 7. That's not the desired 8. So, it makes a double bond, and they share two electrons each. Which adds to 8.

    O
    O O Ozone!!! O3. Each one of these atoms share with each other, making 8.

    That's covelant bonding!!!
    This "quantum energy I told you about is somewhat true. What's really true is that there are four "quantum numbers" that cannot match.
    The first is N.
    N is the energy of an electron. For example, an electron in the first shell would have an N of 1. An electron in the second shell would have an N of 2. An electron in the third shell would have an N of 3.
    N=1, means it's in the first shell.
    The second is L. It's actually a greek cursive L kind of like this. l. Okay. This sign is the orbital. L = N - 1. That's the equasion. So, if N = 1, then, L = 0. 0 is an S orbital.
    If N = 2, L can equal either 0 or 1. If it is 1, that's a P orbital. If N = 3, then that can be either 0,1 or 2. An S,P or...a D orbital.
    Now, the third quantum number is M. It is the orientation of the orbitals, you know XYZ.
    M can equal anything between -L and +L. For example if L is 1, then M can equal -1,0,1.
    This is 3 different ways of arranging the P orbital.
    Now the final one is Ms. For Spin. The spin of the electron can equal - 1/2 or 1/2.

    Okay, so let's look at the possible arrangements of some electrons.

    N L M Ms
    1 0 0 -1/2
    1 0 0 1/2 First shell, only can have two electrons.

    2 0 0 -1/2
    2 0 0 1/2
    2 1 -1 -1/2
    2 1 -1 1/2
    2 1 0 -1/2
    2 1 0 1/2
    2 1 1 -1/2
    2 1 1 1/2 Second shell, eight electrons, but none of them, nor the one's in the first shell have the same 4 quantum numbers.

    HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND. IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO WRITE, I'D HATE TO LOSE IT AT THE LAST MOMENT, LIKE THE POWER SHUT DOWN OR SOMETHING. IF YOU UNDERSTAND THIS, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE REST.
    HERE'S SOME SITES.

    http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/gench...h6/quantum.html

    http://lectureonline.cl.msu.edu/~mm...od/electron.htm
     
  6. Nov 20, 2004 #5
    Thanks Dual Op Amp, but I think you missed the question. I think most know about quantum numbers and Wolfgang Pauli's exclusion principle and all of the quantum numbers and Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle and... on and on,

    We were just wondering what s,p,d,and all of the other letters stand for, which was answered by movies.

    I think you would benefit most in your writings by starting a new thread and putting it in the "Chemistry" or "K-12" homework section as it's own topic.

    Thank you, nonetheless,

    Paden Roder
     
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