In my textbook, it claims that the maximum variety of electrons that can fit in any kind of given shell is provided by 2n². This would median 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 fourth shell.

However, ns was formerly taught that the maximum number of electrons in the an initial orbital is 2, 8 in the 2nd orbital, 8 in the 3rd shell, 18 in the 4th orbital, 18 in the 5th orbital, 32 in the sixth orbital. Ns am reasonably sure that orbitals and shells are the exact same thing.

Which of this two approaches is correct and should be supplied to discover the variety of electrons in an orbital?

I am in high college so please try to simplify your answer and also use fairly basic terms.

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edited january 22 "17 in ~ 9:54

Melanie Shebel♦
request Feb 20 "14 at 4:13

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Shells and orbitals space not the same. In regards to quantum numbers, electron in different shells will have different values of principal quantum number n.

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

The 1s orbital

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

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

In the 3rd shell (n=3), us 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 another kind that orbitals (s, p, d, f) becomes accessible as us go come a covering with greater n. The number in former of the letter signifies which shell the orbital(s) space in. Therefore the 7s orbital will certainly be in the 7th shell.

Now for the various kinds the orbitalsEach sort of orbital has actually a various "shape", together you can see on the picture below. You can additionally see that:

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

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

The 2p, 3p, 4p, etc., can each host six electrons since they each have actually three orbitals, that can hold two electrons each (3*2=6).

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

Thus, to discover the variety of electrons possible per shell

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

The 1s orbital

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

The n=2 (second) covering has:

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

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

The n=3 (third) shell has:

The 3s orbitalThe 3p orbitalsThe 3d orbitals

s-orbitals deserve to hold 2 electrons, p-orbitals have the right to hold 6, and 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 variety of electrons feasible in a shell" and also "the variety of valence electrons feasible for a period of elements".

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

The orbitals are filled so the the ones of lowest power are to fill first. The power is about like this: