Better Students Ask More Questions.
Why are p-orbitals called degenerate orbitals?
1 Answer | add yours
Electron orbitals that have the same energy level are said to be degenerate orbitals. Since p orbitals have an azimuthal quantum number of 1, this means that there are three different p orbitals available for electrons (-1,0,+1). These three p orbitals are degenerate, meaning they all have exactly the same energy value. This is important to know when assigning electrons to orbitals because the p orbitals are all filled completely with a total of 6 electrons before moving on to higher energy orbitals. The filling up of electron orbitals from lowest energy to highest energy is the reasoning behind the Aufbau principle.
Posted by ncchemist on February 21, 2013 at 6:24 PM (Answer #1)
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.