How many different orbitals can have the principal quantum number n = 3?
We’re being asked which of the following combinations could give the quantum numbers for the single valence electron of the copper in its ground state.
Recall that the quantum numbers are:
• principal quantum number (n) → energy level in orbitals and its value could be any positive integer starting from 1 to infinity.
• angular momentum quantum number (ℓ) → (l) has to be at least 1 less than n, range of values from 0 up to (n-1)
▪ Each ℓ value corresponds to a subshell:
ℓ = 0 → s subshell
ℓ = 1 → p subshell
ℓ = 2 → d subshell
ℓ = 3 → f subshell
• magnetic quantum number (mℓ) → range of values from -ℓ to + ℓ
▪ The mℓ values (for each ℓ) represent an orbital for the subshell: