K,L,M,N......?????

I love chemsistry very much specially the one regarding electrons,neutrino and other sub atomic particles.The other day I was studying the electron energy level and the shielding effect of electrons.And I started to think why are the orbits named K,L,M,N,etc and why not A,B,C or P,Q,R,S,etc. I thought why not start a discussion on the topic. An answer would be of great help.

Thank You Pranjal

Note by A Former Brilliant Member
6 years, 5 months ago

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perhaps the person who started giving names to shells preferred k more than any other alphabet and so decided to start with k

Sagnik Saha - 6 years, 5 months ago

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Scientists have certain concepts while naming their own inventions and discoveries.Some use the alphabets in the same order. Some use certain other relevant generic names. When a scientist has some doubts about some more findings to happen, he makes room for naming those findings also and names his own invention or finding accordingly. Here Neil Bohr has used that convention. He has reasonable doubt that there may be some orbits within the orbits he discovered and also orbits beyond orbits he found. If any orbits are below his findings of orbits, then his present naming can accommodate them by taking previous alphabets.If some orbits are found after his outermost orbit, then they can be named by the subsequent letters. Thus there will be no clash or overlapping of names. It was just a convention to avoid complications and convenient to all who are in the same research.....hope this reasonable statement helps you to understand ....but why u r asking questions from chemistry.....although i don't consider you guilty for doing this.....hope another members could describe it more lucidly....

Sayan Chaudhuri - 6 years, 5 months ago

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If you find chemistry boring... take a look at this discussion

A Former Brilliant Member - 6 years, 5 months ago

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I think it was Niels Bohr who named the orbits (however who it was doesn't really matter). The story goes: he was humble and thought that maybe the orbits he had found were not the innermost ones, and therefor started somewhere in the middle of the alphabet, so eventual other orbits could be named using J, I and so on. Why K? Don't know, I think he just chose something somewhere in the middle of the alphabet.

Mattias Olla - 6 years, 5 months ago

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hey..its madness of inventor.....we cant question that

Vamsi Krishna Appili - 6 years, 5 months ago

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Honestly, I don't know either, but there must be some significance to it. For instance, orbitals are named s, p, d and f, which stand for SECONDARY, PRIMARY, DIFFUSE and FINE, respectively (as far as I can remember; I'm not that sure). :)

Francis Gerard Magtibay - 6 years, 5 months ago

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Hey that's SHARP, PERFECT, DIFFUSE, FUNDAMENTAL

Nishant Sharma - 6 years, 5 months ago

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*ahem. Sharp, PRINCIPAL, diffuse, and fundamental.

Mattias Olla - 6 years, 5 months ago

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and mercifully the subsequent are goes alphabetically...g,h,...

Subhajit Ghosh - 6 years, 5 months ago

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