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Quantum Numbers (9 Favorites)

LESSON PLAN in Quantum Numbers, Electron Configuration. Last updated April 25, 2019.


In this lesson plan, students complete a worksheet answering questions regarding quantum numbers.

Grade Level

High school

AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework

  • Big Idea 1: The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms. These atoms retain their identity in chemical reactions.
    • 1.12 The student is able to explain why a given set of data suggests, or does not suggest, the need to refine the atomic model from a classical shell model with the quantum mechanical model.
    • 1.13 Given information about a particular model of the atom, the student is able to determine if the model is consistent with specified evidence.
    • 1.15 The student can justify the selection of a particular type of spectroscopy to measure properties associated with vibrational or electronic motions of molecules.


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

  • determine the number of electrons occupying various electron orbitals.
  • list the four quantum numbers and what they represent.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Quantum numbers
  • Electron configuration


Teacher Preparation: 20 minutes

Lesson: 50- 60 minutes


  • Student Handout


There are no special safety considerations for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • Students will need to be familiar with the concepts of quantum numbers before completing this activity.

For the Student


1. Determine the total number of e- that can occupy the following:

a. One s orbital
b. Three p orbitals
c. Five d orbitals
d. Seven f orbitals

2. Calculate the e- given the following:

a. n=3, l=0
b. n=3, l=1
c. n=3, l=2, ml=-1
d. n=5, l=0, ml=-2, ms=-1/2

3. How many e- can exist in all of the n=5 orbitals?

4. How many possible orbitals are there for n=4?

5. Figure out the n and l values for the following orbitals:

a. 2s
b. 7s
c. 6p
d. 5d
e. 4f

6. State all of the four quantum numbers, their names and explain what they represent.

7. What are the ml values for a d orbital?

8. What is the lowest value of n for which a d subshell can occur?

9. A single subshell orbital can contain how many e-?

10. Fluorine commonly has an oxidation state of -1. Draw the orbital state of both the neutral and the most common oxidation state.