# Question #141d0

May 7, 2015

The difference between a subshell and an orbital is that, a subshell contains orbitals(at least one),

whereas, an orbital contains a maximum of two electrons.

This means that a p subshell contains three p orbitals(these are often labelled ${p}_{x} , {p}_{y}$ and ${p}_{z}$ ,because they are perpendicular to each other),

whereas, an s subshell has only one s orbital(that is, an s subshell is equivalent to an s orbital)

So, the 2p subshell $h a s$ three 2p orbitals

And the 2s subshell has one 2s orbital

May 7, 2015

In general, a subshell is comprised of orbitals.

In this particular case, the 2p-subshell contains three 2p-orbitals, $2 {p}_{x}$, $2 {p}_{y}$, and $2 {p}_{z}$. You would say that a 2p-orbital is located in a 2p-subshell.

If you go by number of electrons, each 2p-orbital can hold a maximum of 2 electrons. Since you have three 2p-orbitals in the 2p-subshell, the maximum number of electrons the 2p-subshell can hold is 6.

The 2s-subshell, on the other hand, only contains one orbital, the 2s-orbital, so you can say that the 2s-orbital is also the 2s-subshell, and vice versa.