# chem.

How many electrons can an orbital hold? I know the answer is 2, but how do you get there?

And how do you figure out how many 2p orbitals there are in an atom?

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1. Electrons are paired in an orbital. One electron is +1/2 and the other electron is -1/2. There are only two ways that the electron can spin.
The TOTAL number of p orbitals depends upon how many principle levels you have ; i.e., if n = 1, 2, 3, or what have you. For any n level, there are three p orbitals, each mutually perpendicular to each other in space. There is 1 s orbital, 3 p, 5 d, and 7 f. Each can hold two electrons; therefore, there may be 2 s electrons, 6 p electrons, 10 d electrons, or 14 f electrons. It may help if you look at a diagram but we can't draw diagrams on this board.

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posted by DrBob222

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