Can you guess how many people are in this stadium?
If you attend a college or professional football game, you need a ticket to get in. It is very likely that your ticket may specify a gate number, a section number, a row, and a seat number. No other ticket can have the same four parts to it. It may have the same gate, section, and seat number, but it would have to be in a different row. Each seat is unique and allows only one occupant to fill it.
We use a series of specific numbers, called quantum numbers, to describe the location of an electron in an associated atom. Quantum numbers specify the properties of the atomic orbitals and the electrons in those orbitals. An electron in an atom or ion has four quantum numbers to describe its state. Think of them as important variables in an equation which describes the three-dimensional position of electrons in a given atom.
Principal Quantum Number
The principal quantum number, signified by
Angular Momentum Quantum Number
The angular momentum quantum number, signified as
Magnetic Quantum Number
The magnetic quantum number, signified as
|Principal energy level||Number of possible sublevels||Possible Angular Momentum Quantum Numbers||Orbital Designation by Principal Energy Level and Sublevel|
Table above shows the possible magnetic quantum number values
Spin Quantum Number
The spin quantum number describes the spin for a given electron. An electron can have one of two associated spins,
- Quantum numbers specify the arrangements of electrons in orbitals.
- There are four quantum numbers that provide information about various aspects of electron behavior.
Watch the video, pause at each question and try to calculate the quantum number before you see the answer written in. Do not try to answer the orbital questions, just the quantum number ones.
- What do quantum numbers do?
- What is the principal quantum number?
- What does the spin quantum number represent?