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from what I understand, atomic orbitals are the wavefunctions of electrons in an atom. More specifically but less discrete, orbitals are ways of plotting out the locations or probable locations of electrons. Due to the 3 dimensional, spherical model of the atom, there are three variables. Further developed in the schrodinger equation, the three quantum numbers that indicate a specific orbital are n,l, and ml (which we've discussed in class). n is related to size and energy of the orbital; l is related to shape; ml is related to its "orientation in space".
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