Posted by Nicole on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:23pm.
Remember these rules.
6p means n = 6 and p means l = 1.
m_{l} = -l to +l in increments of 1 and that includes zero. In practice all that means is that m_{l} can be -1, or 0, or +1.
Then remember that m_{s} can be +/- 1/2 for each m_{l} value.
I'm really bad at this, I still don't understand.
There isn't anything to understand. There are four (4) quantum numbers and they have rules to follow:
1. The value of n may be 1,2,3,4,5 or any whole number larger than 0 but may not be zero.
2. The value of l may be any whole number but may not be larger than n-1. Therefore, for n = 1, l may be zero. For n = 2, l may be 0 or 1. For n = 3, l may be 0, 1, or 2, etc. If l = 0 we call it an s electron. If l = 1 we call it a p electron. If l = 2 we call it a d electron and if l = 3 we call it an f electron.
3.The value of m_{l} may have values from -l to +l, all in whole numbers, including zero.
4. The value of m_{s} may be +/- 1/2.
Your question doesn't need all of this to answer it but I thought it might be useful to write ALL of the rules, then you apply these rules to the question.
6 is the n value.
p means l = 1
So we can have
n = 6
l = 1
m_{l} = -1
M_{s} +1/2 and -1/2 (Two electrons here with values of n, l, m the same and the only difference is m_{s} is +1/2 for 1 electron and -1/2 for the other.)
n = 6
l = 1
m_{l} = 0
m_{s} = +1/2 and -1/2 (Two more electrons here.)
n = 6
l = 1
m_{l} = +1
m_{s} = +1/2 and -1/2 (Two more electrons)
There are six electrons possible. That's all of the p electrons an atom can have for any given value of n
Yeah, I figured it out after I said I didn't understand. It's actually really easy. Thanks for all your help though!