### Atomic orbitals

Posted:

**Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:47 pm**What exactly does the "probability of electron density" mean in terms of the electron orbitals?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=48229

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Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:47 pm**

What exactly does the "probability of electron density" mean in terms of the electron orbitals?

Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:21 pm**

The probability of electron density is simply the probability of finding an electron in a certain location (i.e. a particular orbital). It is described as a probability because we can never be certain of an electrons position at any given time. What you are referring to is the probability of an electron being in a particular orbital.

Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:23 pm**

To my understanding, because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle we can never exactly guess where subatomic particles, like electrons, can be located at a given time. Because of this, we use the wave function to give the probability density of an electron at a given point, which basically means what is the probability that you are going to find an electron at that point and time. Then, having a higher density means that there is a higher chance of finding an electron at that point.

Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:39 pm**

It's the probability of an electron being present at a specific location, aka in a specific orbital. The reason this is uncertain and not exact is because the exact position and momentum of an electron cannot be determined at the same time. Electrons are just too small and fast, man.

Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:39 pm**

The probability of electron density is the likelihood that an electron is in a certain location or orbital.

Posted: **Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:00 pm**

the probability that this area is dense with electrons