# How many atomic orbitals are there in an s subshell?

Jun 10, 2014

The s orbital holds one subshell which is capable of housing two electrons.

The s orbital represents the elements of the first two columns of the periodic table.

The Alkali Metals is the first column and have an electron valence shell of ${s}^{1}$.

Lithium - Li $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{1}$
Sodium - Na $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{1}$
Potassium - K $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 4 {s}^{1}$

The Alkaline Earth Metals is the 2nd column and have an electron valence shell of ${s}^{2}$.

Beryllium - Be $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2}$
Magnesium - Mg $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2}$
Calcium - Ca $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 4 {s}^{1}$