# What type of orbital is used with electrons in an orbital with #l = 3#?

##### 1 Answer

Feb 14, 2017

*l* = 3 are the *f* orbitals

#### Explanation:

Think of the quantum number l as the number of nodes in the electron wave function.

For *l* = 0, there are no nodes, so you have a single spherical electron wave function, or an *s* orbital.

For *l* = 1, the wave function will have one node, so the orbital will have two lobes--that is, two areas of electron density--that is a *p* orbital.

For *l* = 2, the wave function will have two nodes, dividing the electron wave function into three or four lobes. That is a *d* orbital.

So for *l* = 3, the wave function will have three nodes. Those are the *f* orbitals.

You can see a picture of the seven *f* orbitals here