Problem: Which of the following represents an impossible combination of the quantum numbers n and l?A) 1sB) 2dC) 3pD) 4dE) 5f

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We’re being asked to which of the following represents an impossible combination of the quantum numbers n and l


Let’s first define and determine the possible values of the first 2 quantum numbers:

principal quantum number (n)  energy level in orbitals and its value could be any positive integer starting from 1 to infinity

angular momentum quantum number (ℓ) → (l) has to be at least 1 less than n, range of values from 0 up to (n-1)

▪ Each ℓ value corresponds to a subshell:

 = 0 → s subshell
 = 1 → p subshell 
 = 2 → d subshell
 = 3 → f subshell


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Problem Details

Which of the following represents an impossible combination of the quantum numbers n and l?

A) 1s

B) 2d

C) 3p

D) 4d

E) 5f