Question #bf9d6

1 Answer
May 1, 2017

Degenerate orbitals are orbitals with the same energy.


Ideally, this would mean that all the orbitals with the same principal quantum number (#n#) would have the same energy (for example, #2s# and #2p# would have the same energy). This is the case in hydrogen, as it has just the one electron.

However, this does not happen because of electron shielding (i.e. inner electrons repel outer electrons), which causes more outer orbitals to have higher energy.

To sum up, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that all orbitals with the same principle quantum number (#n#) and the same angular momentum quantum number (#l#) will have the same energy, or be degenerate.

Hope that helps :)