In my textbook, it says that the maximum number of electrons that have the right to fit in any type of given covering is offered by 2n². This would typical 2 electrons can fit in the first shell, 8 can fit in the 2nd shell, 18 in the 3rd shell, and also 32 in the 4th shell.

However, i was formerly taught the the maximum variety of electrons in the an initial orbital is 2, 8 in the second orbital, 8 in the 3rd shell, 18 in the fourth orbital, 18 in the 5th orbital, 32 in the 6th orbital. I am relatively sure the orbitals and also shells space the same thing.

Which of this two techniques is correct and should be provided to uncover the variety of electrons in one orbital?

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

You are watching: How many electrons can the first orbital hold electron electronic-configuration
improve this question
edited january 22 "17 at 9:54

Melanie Shebel♦
6,31099 yellow badges4242 silver- badges8181 bronze badges
request Feb 20 "14 at 4:13

56733 gold badges77 silver- badges1010 bronze title
include a comment |

3 answer 3

active earliest Votes
Shells and also orbitals room not the same. In regards to quantum numbers, electron in different shells will have various values of principal quantum number n.

To answer her question...

In the first shell (n=1), us have:

The 1s orbital

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

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

In the third 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 of orbitals (s, p, d, f) becomes obtainable as we go come a shell with higher n. The number in former of the letter signifies which shell the orbital(s) room in. For this reason the 7s orbital will be in the 7th shell.

Now for the various kinds the orbitalsEach kind of orbital has actually a different "shape", as you deserve to see ~ above the picture below. You can likewise see that:

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


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

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

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

Thus, to uncover the variety of electrons possible per shell

First, we look at the n=1 covering (the very first shell). The has:

The 1s orbital

An s-orbital hold 2 electrons. For this reason n=1 shell have the right to hold 2 electrons.

The n=2 (second) shell has:

The 2s orbitalThe 2p orbitals

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

The n=3 (third) covering has:

The 3s orbitalThe 3p orbitalsThe 3d orbitals

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

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

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

See more: No Matter What You Drive Your Tires Must Have A Minimum Of, What Is The Minimum Safe Tread Depth

There"s space for $18 exte^-$ in the 3rd shell: $3s + 3p + 3d = 2 + 6 + 10 = 18$, however, aspects in the 3rd 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. Aspects from the 3rd period don"t to fill the 3rd shell.

The orbitals room filled so that the ones of lowest energy are filled first. The power is approximately like this: