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Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:19 pm
I'm having a little difficulty understanding orbitals, specifically nodal planes. I know that the S-orbital does not have any nodal planes because it has one orbital, the P-orbital has one nodal plane, and the D-orbital has two nodal planes, but what are the exact functions and significance of them?
Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 pm
I think a nodule plane is the area where the electron probability density is zero.
I don't know if I answered your question well, but I hope this helps!
Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:14 am
Because of the math behind Schrodinger's wave function equation, there are points where the calculated electron probability density is zero, indicating the presence of a nodal plane. The most important thing to know about them is you will never find an electron there. In other orbitals such as dz2 and 2s, they may be conics or nodal shells.
Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:50 am
As mentioned above, a nodal plane essentially indicates an area where the electron probability density is zero. In other words, there is zero probability of finding an electron in a nodal plane. Nodal planes also depend on the shape of the orbital - for instance, an s-orbital is spherically shaped with a symmetric electron density distribution all around the atom and therefore no nodal planes. A p-orbital, however, is shaped with two lobes on either side of the nucleus. The electron distribution density is not symmetric because of its shape; as such, there is a nodal plane at the nucleus of the p-orbital where there is zero probability of finding an electron.