What are some common mistakes students make with orbitals?
1 Answer
Jul 9, 2018
Well, I suppose it would be the following...
Two common mistakes would be:
 Not knowing which orbitals physically exist AND why they do not.
 Forgetting the difference between orbitals and subshells.
So, consider the following examples.

Recall that the principal quantum number
#n = 1, 2, 3, . . . # and the angular momentum quantum number#l = 0, 1, 2, . . . , ul(n1)# .Therefore, it follows that if
#n# is some integer, then#l# can be no greater than#n# , i.e.#1p# ,#2d# , and#3f# orbitals do not exist, etc. because for these, it is NOT the case that#l < n# , while it must be. 
Or, we distinguish between the fact that if you have a set of
#d# orbitals, it does not mean that#10# electrons can go into one orbital...But it DOES mean that you can have
#10# electrons total in that subshell, as there can be#2# electrons per#d# orbital, of which there are#5# .