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As we know that wave functions are the solution of schrodinger wave equation which contains all the information about an electron. We also tought that these wave functions are the atomic orbitals of that electron. But my question is as orbitals are the region where the probebility to find the electron is maximum than other regions but wave functions doesn't have any physical significance then how wave function can be orbital ?

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  • $\begingroup$ The orbitals as they are used today in chemistry are the energy eigenstates themselves, meaning the wavefunctions themselves. $\endgroup$ May 30 '20 at 17:17
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I'm not a historian, so my interpretation/usage of these terms is subjective.

When I use the term orbit I refer to Bohr's atom model ("invented" around the year 1913). In Bohr's atom model the electrons circle around the nucleus on fixed orbits.

The term wave function came later (around 1925). Schrödinger used a probability amplitude, which we also call wave function, to describe the hydrogen spectrum.

Depending on the context it's helpful to think in terms of orbits or of wave functions. Therefore, both terms are use.

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