S-orbitals symmetry

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Anisha Chandra 1K
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

S-orbitals symmetry

Postby Anisha Chandra 1K » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:06 am

How come s-orbitals are symmetrical but p-orbitals aren't? Aren't the 2 lobes of p-orbitals roughly the same? Can't an electron be found at any position in both types of orbitals?

Aayush Patel 3B
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: S-orbitals symmetry

Postby Aayush Patel 3B » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:20 am

The s- orbital is symmetrical because it has no nodal planes. Therefore, there it has a symmetric e- potential distribution. The p- orbital has two lobes on either side of the nucleus, creating a nodal plane with a px, py, pz axes.

Ethan Lam 4A
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: S-orbitals symmetry

Postby Ethan Lam 4A » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:42 pm

The s-orbital is also symmetric because it has sphere properties.

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Re: S-orbitals symmetry

Postby ahuang » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:39 pm

The sizes of the two lobes of the p orbitals are different sizes, so px, py, and pz are different

Claire Stoecklein 1E
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 am

Re: S-orbitals symmetry

Postby Claire Stoecklein 1E » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:05 pm

Electrons in the s-orbital are equally likely to be found at any point in the sphere, therefore s-orbitals have symmetric probability distributions. A p-orbital shape itself is not asymmetric, but because the shape is not a sphere, an electron is more likely to be found further from the nuclear, so the probably distribution is not symmetrical.

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