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Grade: 11

Atomic orbital is the wave function.But atomic orbital is a physical region while wave function do not have a physical meaning.HOW?

9 years ago

Answers : (1)

879 Points

Dear student,

Atomic orbitals are (energy) states or wave forms of electrons in the atom. If we insist on the particle nature of electrons, then the probability of finding an electron in an atomic orbital is proportional to the square of the wavefunction. The values of the wavefunction can be either positive or negative, but the probability is always a positive value.

Most of us are not used to thinking of electrons as waves, and we still refer to the density as the probability of finding the electron (a particle). The electron density diagrams given in many text books can be plotted using the appropriate wave functions. They are not the results of artists' imagination. In this demonstration, the computer will plot the densities according to an algorithm, which is based on the wavefunctions of various atomic orbitals.


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Askiitians Expert

Sagar Singh

B.Tech, IIT Delhi

9 years ago
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