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

Three.

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

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How many p orbitals are there in a neon atom?

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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