In mine textbook, it says that the maximum number of electrons that deserve to fit in any kind of given covering is offered by 2n². This would typical 2 electrons can fit in the an initial shell, 8 might fit in the 2nd shell, 18 in the third shell, and 32 in the 4th shell.

However, ns was previously taught the the maximum number of electrons in the an initial orbital is 2, 8 in the 2nd orbital, 8 in the third shell, 18 in the 4th orbital, 18 in the fifth orbital, 32 in the sixth orbital. I am relatively sure the orbitals and shells room the exact same thing.

Which of these two techniques is correct and should be supplied to uncover the variety of electrons in an orbital?

I to be in high school so please shot to leveling your answer and also use reasonably basic terms.

You are watching: How many electrons can the s orbital hold electron electronic-configuration
improve this inquiry
edited jan 22 "17 in ~ 9:54

Melanie Shebel♦
6,30999 gold badges4242 silver- badges8080 bronze badges
asked Feb 20 "14 at 4:13

56733 gold badges77 silver- badges1010 bronze badges
add a comment |

3 answers 3

active earliest Votes
Shells and also orbitals room not the same. In terms of quantum numbers, electrons in various shells will have different values of major quantum number n.

To answer your question...

In the an initial shell (n=1), we have:

The 1s orbital

In the second shell (n=2), us have:

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

In the 3rd shell (n=3), we have:

The 3s orbitalThe 3p orbitalsThe 3d orbitals

In the 4th shell (n=4), us have:

The 4s orbitalThe 4p orbitalsThe 4d orbitalsThe 4f orbitals

So an additional kind the orbitals (s, p, d, f) becomes available as we go to a shell with greater n. The number in prior of the letter signifies which covering the orbital(s) are in. Therefore the 7s orbital will certainly be in the 7th shell.

Now for the different kinds that orbitalsEach type of orbital has a various "shape", together you deserve to see on the picture below. Friend can additionally see that:

The s-kind has only one orbitalThe p-kind has actually three orbitalsThe d-kind has five orbitalsThe f-kind has actually seven orbitals


Each orbital can hold two electrons. One spin-up and one spin-down. This means that the 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, etc., deserve to each organize two electrons because they each have only one orbital.

The 2p, 3p, 4p, etc., deserve to each hold six electrons due to the fact that they each have three orbitals, that have the right to hold two electrons every (3*2=6).

The 3d, 4d etc., have the right to each organize ten electrons, due to the fact that they each have five orbitals, and each orbital can hold two electrons (5*2=10).

Thus, to find the number of electrons feasible per shell

First, us look in ~ the n=1 shell (the an initial shell). The has:

The 1s orbital

An s-orbital holds 2 electrons. Hence n=1 shell can hold 2 electrons.

The n=2 (second) covering has:

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

s-orbitals can hold 2 electrons, the p-orbitals deserve to hold 6 electrons. Thus, the second shell deserve to have 8 electrons.

The n=3 (third) covering has:

The 3s orbitalThe 3p orbitalsThe 3d orbitals

s-orbitals can hold 2 electrons, p-orbitals have the right to hold 6, and also d-orbitals deserve to hold 10, for a complete of 18 electrons.

Therefore, the formula $2n^2$ holds! What is the difference between your 2 methods?

There"s vital distinction between "the number of electrons feasible in a shell" and also "the number of valence electrons feasible for a period of elements".

See more: How Many Ounces Is One Chicken Strip S Nutrition Facts, How Many Ounces Are In One Chicken Tender

There"s room for $18 \texte^-$ in the third shell: $3s + 3p + 3d = 2 + 6 + 10 = 18$, however, facets in the third period only have up come 8 valence electrons. This is because the $3d$-orbitals aren"t filled until we acquire to elements from the fourth period - ie. Elements from the third period don"t fill the 3rd shell.

The orbitals space filled so the the persons of lowest energy are filled first. The power is around like this: