Linked Questions

22
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there experimental verification of the s, p, d, f orbital shapes?

Have there been any experiments performed (or proposed) to prove that the shapes of the s,p,d,f orbitals correspond to our spatial reality as opposed to just being a figment of the mathematics that ...
15
votes
2answers
846 views

What does an orbital mean in atoms with multiple electrons? What do the orbitals of helium look like?

I am wondering about this. It is a familiar sight, the orbital diagrams for the hydrogen atom, depictions of which are abundant and so are not in need of reproduction here. However, what about the "...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to understand the symmetry $\Sigma^-$ in the wavefunction of a diatomic molecule?

In Wikipedia (and elsewhere), a particular symmetry of the quantum system of a diatomic molecule is mentioned: symmetry under reflection along a plane containing the internuclear axis. The ...
4
votes
3answers
374 views

Would an $H_2O$ Molecule actually look like this 3D representation if we could see it?

I'm trying to get a much better grasp on atoms and molecules and I am a visual learner. I found the above image here. This intuitively makes sense to me because I can see how the electron orbitals ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Why are electron wavefunctions standing waves?

How can I convince myself that wavefunctions of electrons on molecular orbitals are indeed standing waves? Is it a consequence of the fact that electrons don't drift away from the molecule? In other ...
2
votes
1answer
624 views

LCAO - Constructing a molecular wavefunction

I am a theoretical physics student and have been studying the LCAO (Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals) technique from the perspective of a physicist. I would like to get some explicit ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Quantization of electrons' angular momentum in atoms and molecules

It is known that the Schrödinger's equation of the electron's wave function in atoms can be solved analitically only when a single electron is present (the "hydrogenlike atom"). In that case, the ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

Why are there three $p$-orbitals?

This question is specifically about Schrödinger quantum mechanics, but if an answer in some other mode would illuminate it could be acceptable, as demonstrating a physical or mathematical reason for ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Why can dipole-allowed transitions occur between sets of electron states which differ by only one electronic state?

$ \newcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}} \newcommand{\op}[1]{\hat{#1}} \newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle{#1}\rvert} \newcommand{\ket}[1]{\lvert{#1}\rangle} \newcommand{\braket}[2]{\langle{#1}|{#2}\rangle} \...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Pauli exclusion principle for non-stable states

If an electron partially occupy $1s$ orbital, can other electron occupy $1s$ partially, too?
1
vote
0answers
26 views

How to calculate orbital densities/shapes of atoms in 3D?

When we read about orbitals, I'm sure we are all used to seeing illustrations of them by drawing some contour "along" the probability density function so that the electron's position is equiprobable ...