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I'm having trouble conceptually visualizing what an orbital is and how it relates to the wavefunction. Can someone help explain what exactly an orbital is, and how it relates to Schrodinger's wave function equation? To what extent do we need to know the wave function equation on upcoming exams?
We don't need to know how to use Schrodinger's equation for the exam. As for the orbitals, they show the likelihood that an electron would be present at a certain spot around the nucleus. So for a p-orbital, there is a low chance that there will be an electron near the nucleus but a higher chance the further out you go. The more nodes there are around the atom, the more energy levels that atom has.
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