What Is Spectroscopic Notation?


Quick Answer

Spectroscopic notation is a common way of naming states in atomic physics. In essence, it is a shorthand method for specifying an element's electron configuration with reference to its total orbital angular momentum and orbital quantum number.

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Full Answer

The general form of this type of notation is N2s+1Lj. In this notation, N refers to the principal quantum number. It is usually not included in the notation. S is the total spin number and refers to the number of spin states. L is the angular momentum in that particular orbit, while j refers to the angular momentum quantum number. It is important for all theoretical physicists to understand this notation, since it is central to defining most variables in quantum physics.

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