# Azimuthal quantum number – Definition & Meaning

The azimuthal quantum number is an important concept in quantum mechanics that describes the shape of an atomic orbital. It is one of the four quantum numbers that define the properties of an electron in an atom. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the azimuthal quantum number.

## Definitions

The azimuthal quantum number, denoted by the letter l, is a quantum number that describes the orbital angular momentum of an electron in an atom. It determines the shape of the electron cloud around the nucleus. The value of l can range from 0 to n-1, where n is the principal quantum number.

## Origin

The concept of the azimuthal quantum number was first introduced by the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in 1916. Sommerfeld’s extension of the Bohr model of the atom included elliptical orbits and the azimuthal quantum number to describe the shape of the electron cloud.

## Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the azimuthal quantum number is “a quantum number denoting the magnitude of the angular momentum of an atomic electron about the nucleus.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a quantum number that determines the shape of an atomic orbital and that takes on integral values from 0 to n-1 for an orbital with principal quantum number n.”

## Associations

The azimuthal quantum number is closely associated with the other quantum numbers that define the properties of an electron in an atom. These include the principal quantum number, the magnetic quantum number, and the spin quantum number. Together, these quantum numbers determine the energy, location, and orientation of an electron in an atom.

## Synonyms

There are no commonly used synonyms for the azimuthal quantum number.

## Antonyms

There are no commonly used antonyms for the azimuthal quantum number.

## The same root words

There are no commonly used root words associated with the azimuthal quantum number.

## Example Sentences

1. The azimuthal quantum number determines the shape of the electron cloud around the nucleus.
2. The value of the azimuthal quantum number can range from 0 to n-1.
3. The azimuthal quantum number is one of four quantum numbers that define the properties of an electron in an atom.
4. The azimuthal quantum number was first introduced by the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in 1916.