Shape of Orbitals?

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Rebecca Remple 1C
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Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Rebecca Remple 1C » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:13 pm

Hi all,

I was going through my notes for class and noticed that, during the Quantum World unit, we covered the different shapes of orbitals. The s orbitals are spherical, the p are two lobes, d has several lobes (3 or 4?), and f has more complicated shapes. However, I never encountered any practice problems referencing these orbital shapes, and I do not know how to apply them to a problem. Does anyone know if these will be testable and, if so, how they could be incorporated into a question? What could the test ask about them? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you and good luck on the midterm!


Tai Metzger 3K
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Tai Metzger 3K » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 pm

Since the midterm questions primarily come from homework and other practice problems, it is unlikely that orbital shape will be a major part of the test. I think that what you have already stated is sufficient understanding for the midterm in regards to this topic.

Kylie Lim 4G
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Kylie Lim 4G » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:25 pm

I don't think that orbital shape will likely be tested on the midterm, but you should probably know how the quantum numbers n,l,ml relate to the location of an electron

Cindy Adiwidjaja 1B
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Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Cindy Adiwidjaja 1B » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:02 am

Dr. Lavelle said that we do not need to worry about orbital shape for any test we encounter.

Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A
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Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:50 am

I'm pretty sure the whole orbital shape stuff is just to help with the conceptual understanding of the topic, you just have to understand the number of electrons in each orbital, the subshells, the principal quantum numbers, and electron spin. The shape of the orbital itself will not be asked about but needs to be understood in general to understand the m_subsrpt l number along with electron density (you are much more likely to find an electron is s due to its high electron density which plays a bigger role in the next section)

Nhu Pham-Dis3G
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Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby Nhu Pham-Dis3G » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:42 pm

Dr. Lavelle specifically mentioned in the lecture that we do not need to know the shapes of the orbitals. He just presented them to us because it is part of the fundamentals for this course, and these fundamentals will be applied to quantum numbers (which will not be on the first midterm, though)!

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Re: Shape of Orbitals?

Postby AmyHo2K » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:53 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. Dr.Lavelle said it was just something to help us understand the concepts we would later learn.

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