# What do the subscripts 1/2 and 3/2 for the p-orbitals refer to?

What does $p_{1/2}$ and $p_{3/2}$ mean when referring to electron configuration?

I've seen sub shells and I'm assuming it has something to do with spin. I am asking this in regard to the $8p_{1/2}$ and $8p_{3/2}$ shells and the way they get filled at different energy levels?

• See this earlier Q & A, Shape of the P1/2 Orbital – ron May 10 '17 at 3:23
• We prefer to not use MathJax in the title field, see here for details. – Martin - マーチン May 10 '17 at 5:22
• Essentially, spin-orbit coupling leads to the degeneracy of the 8p orbitals being lifted. ron's question has all the details. – orthocresol May 10 '17 at 12:59