Questions tagged [orbitals]

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11
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5answers
5k views

Electron shells in atoms: What causes them to exist as they do?

I have seen similar posts, but I haven't seen what seems to be a clear and direct answer. Why do only a certain number of electrons occupy each shell? Why are the shells arranged in certain distances ...
17
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5answers
40k views

How do electrons jump orbitals?

My question isn't how they receive the energy to jump, but why. When someone views an element's emission spectrum, we see a line spectrum which proves that they don't exist outside of their orbitals (...
12
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2answers
767 views

Are orbitals observable physical quantities in a many-electron setting?

Orbitals, both in their atomic and molecular incarnations, are immensely useful tools for analysing and understanding the electronic structure of atoms and molecules, and they provide the basis for a ...
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4answers
441 views

Where do symmetries in atomic orbitals come from?

It is well established that: 'In quantum mechanics, the behavior of an electron in an atom is described by an orbital, which is a probability distribution rather than an orbit. There are also many ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Why aren't orbitals symmetric?

In an hydrogen-like atoms the orbitals are solutions to the Schrodinger equation suitable for the problem. They describe the regions where an electron can be found. So, why don't they have spherical ...
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2answers
13k views

Why do non-hydrogen atomic orbitals have the same degeneracy structure as hydrogen orbitals?

The solutions of the Schrödinger equation for hydrogen are the "electronic orbitals", shown in this picture: (source) They have the following degeneracy structure: (source) It is often said that ...
12
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2answers
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Is there actually a 0 probability of finding an electron in an orbital node?

I have recently read that an orbital node in an atom is a region where there is a 0 chance of finding an electron. However, I have also read that there is an above 0 chance of finding an electron ...
5
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1answer
6k views

Why do electrons not fully fill up all the orbitals sequentially?

Why do electrons not fully fill up all the orbitals sequentially? By this I mean: why don't the electrons fully take up the previous orbit first and then move onto the next orbit? Take calcium for ...
5
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4answers
1k views

How big is an excited hydrogen atom?

Suppose an empty universe with the exception of a single hydrogen atom (1 proton, 1 electron). The electron may be in its ground state or it may be excited a certain number of levels. Suppose it is at ...
4
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6answers
12k views

How does the electron jump across “gaps” in its orbital?

I saw on perhaps COSMOS, and have heard mention from other professors, that electrons sort of "teleport" or something, in their orbital and the quantum level. So looking at the orbitals for a lone ...
2
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1answer
66 views

The Existence of the $^1D$ term and the non-existence of the $^3D$ term?

Yesterday I asked this question concerning the existence of terms. This question is on the same topic. I have been looking at some tables (in Yang and Hamilton (2010), pg 199) at the terms that exist ...
13
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4answers
7k views

How does an electron move around in an orbital? Is it “wave-like” or random?

When an electron is moving around in its orbital, is it actually moving around like a wave, like this video shows? (By wave-like, I mean, the 'electron' in this video is showing it following a ...
9
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1answer
396 views

Are atoms unstable in $d\geq 4$ spatial dimensions when quantum mechanics is taken into account?

I understand that in 3+1 dimensions according to classical physics atoms should be unstable however atoms are stable in 3+1 dimensions because the behavior of atoms is governed by quantum physics ...
21
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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 ...
6
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2answers
470 views

How does covalent bonding actually work?

How does covalent bonding actually work? Consider the molecule $O_2$, which has a double covalent bond between the oxygen molecules. Chemistry texts say that a double covalent bond occurs because this ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between real orbital & complex orbital?

While reading Atomic orbitals, I came before these two terms. The 'real orbital' is given here: Real orbitals An atom that is embedded in a crystalline solid feels multiple preferred axes, ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Atomic physics, determining levels and terms

In atomic physics I understand there a configurations, terms and levels. I think levels for instance appear because of spin-orbit interactions, so that terms are split. But I'm confused about the ...
32
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6answers
7k views

Where are the inaccuracies in the Bohr model of the atom?

The Bohr model of the atom is essentially that the nucleus is a ball and the electrons are balls orbiting the nucleus in a rigid orbit. This allowed for chemists to find a model of chemical bonding ...
3
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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 ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Why can't electrons be found inside the nucleus if there are infinite number of orbitals?

If there are an infinite number of orbitals, we can assume, that they can be present in any point in space. If that is correct, why do we not find electrons in the nucleus? I study in high school. ...
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2answers
72 views

Is the change in orbital of an electron the only way a photon is created

I would like to know if there are any other ways in which photon's are being emitted other than in the case an electron's orbital around a nucleus changes.
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2answers
231 views

If orbital shells are just probability functions, why are quantum numbers only ever integers? [closed]

Quantum numbers are supposed to denote every individual orbital. But if orbital shells are probability functions, then orbitals can't be definite, solid things. So in that case, there can be variation ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Ground state of Beryllium (${\rm Be}$)

Why is the ground state of Beryllium (${\rm Be}$) with electronic configuration $[{\rm He}]2s^2$ is $^1S_0$ and not $^3S_1$? The state $^3S_1$ has higher spin multiplicity.
2
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1answer
610 views

How to find hydrogen wave-functions?

I have found the hydrogen wave functions and would now like to calculate the function that describes the orbitals so that I can plot this function and see how they look. I don't know how I can do ...
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2answers
367 views

How is Bohr's model related to electron cloud models via the correspondence principle?

I came across a discussion of atomic Rydberg states, which appear to be defined as having their outer electron in a highly excited state. In the same text, it mentioned that these excited electrons ...
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1answer
76 views

How can orbitals be oriented if the nucleus is symmetrical? [duplicate]

I know very little about quantum physics, but I just can't wrap my head around the fact that non-spherical orbitals appear to be "oriented", constituting a set of fixed "frame of reference axes". ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Why the rule of filling orbital is increasing $n+\ell$ where in the Hydrogen atom only $n$ gives the energy?

I figured out that to be able to determine the electronic structure of atoms, we have to fill by increasing values of $n+\ell$. But, in the Hydrogen atom, the energies are given by $E_n=-\frac{E_1}{n^...
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3answers
146 views

Is the $2p\rightarrow2s$ transition possible?

Selection rules in one electron atoms are: $\Delta n=$ any $\Delta l=\pm1$ $\Delta m_l=0,\pm1$ $\Delta s=0$ Parity must change Under strong spin orbit interaction: $\Delta j=0,\pm 1$, but $j=0\...
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2answers
247 views

Number of Orbitals - Hydrogen Orbital just one, but why can we plot also higher states e.g. SPDF orbits?

I am confused, hydrogen just has one electron in the 1s orbit. but why can we plot all kind of orbitals (higher energy eigenstates for that atom)? My assumption: So physically spoken these orbits ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Given that the atomic orbitals are fuzzy, why are the energy levels and energy transitions sharp?

Given that the atomic orbitals are fuzzy, why are the energy levels and energy transitions sharp?
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4answers
6k views

What is a standing wave?

I'm a highschool sophomore, bear this is mind when answering this question, in other words, the answer doesn't need to be in total layman terms, but it should be understandable by an applied ...
5
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2answers
405 views

How does an electron jump from one lobe to another of the same hourglass-shaped $2p_x$-orbital?

Imagine an electron in the hourglass-shaped $2p_x$-orbital. It has two lobes. The probability of it being in the centre of the orbital is zero. This is the point that connects the two lobes of the ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Is there any significance of atomic orbitals?

We have been taught that the atomic orbitals we read about are probability density region of finding electrons of particular energies which are designated by the various quantum numbers. Since, there ...
9
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1answer
241 views

If protons and electrons had similar masses

If electrons and protons had the same mass, would they still be in a stable orbit around their barycenter, or would they eventually collide? Similarly, a positronium(or protonium) only lasts extremely ...
2
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5answers
217 views

Why does an electron not emit energy when it is in a stationary state?

The Bohr's postulate states that an electron does not emit energy when it is in a stationary state. My question is, is it only a postulate or does it have proof? Also on what basis did Bohr come to ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Exclusion principle in electron orbitals

If a 1s or 2s orbital is to be occupied by two electrons, their spins must be antiparallel. If we start with single occupancy: if a second electron is added to the orbital (as, for instance, in a ...
2
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2answers
150 views

Picturing electrons

I used to think that the electron is a particle orbiting the nucleus, but now I know that the electron can be also thought of as a standing wave. That's kind of like saying that a curve is both ...
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2answers
140 views

Notation of complex valued atomic orbitals

Atomic orbitals are usually labeled $1s$, $2p_x$, $2p_x$, $2p_z$ and so on. These wave functions are defined to be real valued. The original wave functions are complex valued. The $2p_x$ orbital is ...
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2answers
1k views

Atomic orbitals and complex wavefunction

I have read different questions related to the atomic orbitals labelled with 2px and 2py present here, such as What is the difference between real orbital & complex orbital? or Notation of complex ...
3
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5answers
3k views

Do electrons have a radius when they behave like a particle?

I know sometimes electrons behave like waves, but it sometimes can be seen as a particle. while it's a particle, does it have a radius? or, a volume? If it doesn't even have a volume, how can we still ...
3
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2answers
966 views

Dependence of the energy of an electron on distance from the nucleus

I was going through an article given to me by my teacher which gave info about the influence of the positive nucleus on the electrons in the 's orbital', 'p orbital' and 'd orbital' respectively. Here ...
3
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5answers
306 views

How does the orbiting of electrons around nuclei START? [closed]

When electrons orbit a nucleus, their orbiting continues due to conservation of angular momentum, so I've read. But what causes an electron to orbit a nucleus in the first place? To be more precise, ...
2
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3answers
457 views

How fast does an electron jump between orbitals?

I'm wondering what speed electrons jump from level to level. I've been told only that they emit light when doing so and need energy to be inputed in order to occupy orbitals closer to the nucleus. I ...
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1answer
104 views

Which electron is first ionized $n=2,\ell=1, m=?$ [closed]

Eletrons in atoms are described by n,l, m, s quantum numbers? For noble gas 1s2 2s2 2p6 which is the first electron that will be ionized n=2, l=1, m=?, s = ?
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1answer
175 views

Do different orbitals overlap in multielectron atom? [duplicate]

We know that there are many kind of orbitals and we also know that these are regions of maximum probability where an electron can be. Orbitals are plotted generally on XYZ plane. The doubt arises ...
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2answers
195 views

Bound electrons don't move, right?

I've never been satisfied with the explanation that electrons have a “speed” and move close to the speed of light, thus incurring relativistic effects that make gold pretty and mercury wet. I learned ...
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1answer
46 views

Using $M_L$ and $M_S$ to determine existence of terms

When it comes to deciding which terms exist for a given configuration I have often seen an argument along the following lines: For the configuration $np^2$ with $S=1$ it is impossible to form a ...
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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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Expectation values of $x$, $y$, $z$ in hydrogen?

The expectation value of $r=\sqrt{x^2 + y^2 + z^2}$ for the electron in the ground state in hydrogen is $\frac{3a}{2}$ where a is the bohr radius. I can easily see from the integration that the ...
0
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2answers
72 views

Discrete energy levels of electrons in isolated atom

My question is a duplicate of this. Please consider the equation $\nabla^2\psi + (2m/\hbar^2)[E-V]\psi=0$ (1) Potential of electron revolving hydrogen atom is given as $V=\frac{-e}{4\pi\...