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QUESTION

# How many p orbitals are there in a neon atom?

Three.

Your tool of choice for this problem will be neon's .

Neon, "Ne", is located in period 2, group 18 of the , and has an equal to 10. This means that a neutral neon atom will have a total of 10 protons in its nucleus and 10 electrons surrounding its nucleus.

Now, neon's , which must account for 10 electrons, looks like this

"Ne: " 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6

So, a neon atom has

• two electrons located in the 1s-orbital
• two electrons located in the 2s-orbital
• six electrons located in the 2p-orbitals

To get the number of p-orbitals you have, you can use .

The first energy level that can hold p-orbitals is the second energy level, for which the principal quantum number, n, is equal to 2.

The principal talls you the energy level, or shell. The angular momentum quantum number, l, tells you the subshell.

In your case, the p-orbitals correspond to an angular momentum quantum number equal to 1.

Now, the number of orbitals you get per subshell is given by the magnetic quantum number, m_l. In your case, m_l can take the values

m_l = { -1; 0; 1}

This means that you can find a total of three p-orbitals, p_x, p_y, and p_z, in the p-subshell.

In neon's case, since its only p-orbitals are located on the second energy level, it follows that it contains a total of three p-orbitals, 2p_x, 2p_y, and 2p_z.

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