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I'm learning about quantum numbers right now, and I can't figure out how to calculate the number of electrons in each shell without memorizing it. Is there a formula to find the possible numbers of electrons in the s, p, d, f, and other (theoretical) subshells? If it helps, this problem is put under the "Quantum Numbers, Exclusion Principle" topic.

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Simple mnemonic: each orbital, s, p, d and f, has double the consecutive odd numbers of electrons, i.e. 1, 3, 5 & 7 --> 2, 6, 10 & 14.

BTW, from spectroscopy, s, p, d & f refer to splitting of lines, the sharp, principal, diffuse and fine; see Atomic orbital. As Tom Lehrer stated, "These are the only ones of which the news has come to Hahvahd, and there may be many others, but they haven't been discovahd." Although element 121, unbiunium, begins the theoretical g-block...

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