# How many atomic orbitals are there in a g subshell?

Apr 19, 2015

You can determine how many orbitals the g-subshell would have by using quantum numbers.

The angular momentum quantum number, or $l$, tells you the subshell in which an electron is located. The values of $l$ correspond to

$l = 0 \to$ s-subshell;
$l = 1 \to$ p-subshell;
$l = 2 \to$ d-subshell;
$l = 3 \to$ f-subshell
$l = 4 \to$ g-subshell;

The type of orbitals a subshell contains is given by the magnetic quantum number, or ${m}_{l}$, which, as you can see, can take values ranging from $- l$ to $+ l$.

Since a g-subshell is described by an angular momentum quantum number equal to 4, you'll get a total of

underbrace("-4, -3, -2, -1, 0 ,+1, +2, +3, +4")_(color(blue)("9 orbitals"))

The equation that tells you the type of orbitals present in a subshell is

${m}_{l} = 2 l + 1$

Once again, the number of orbitals present in a g-subshell will be

${m}_{l} = 2 \cdot 4 + 1 = 9$