P-Orbitals (x,y,z) [ENDORSED]

Kyra LeRoy 1E
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:00 am

P-Orbitals (x,y,z)

What exactly is the significance of the Px Py and Pz for the P-orbitals? Do we ever need to write these when writing electron configurations?

Thanks!

Johann Park 2B
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:01 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: P-Orbitals (x,y,z)  [ENDORSED]

Px, Py, and Pz just specify the different locations/orientation of electrons in a P-orbital (Whether an electron lies on the x-/y-/z-axis on the 3D Cartesian graph). I believe that Prof. Lavelle said this concept is only to help our understanding of these different orbitals, so when writing the electron configurations of atoms, we, for example, could note Sulfur (S) as [Ne]3s23p4 instead of with all of the separate P-orbitals.

Belle Calforda3f
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: P-Orbitals (x,y,z)

The (x,y,and z) of px,py, and pz simply distinguish which axis the electrons lie on. If you took AP chem in high school you likely were taught to write use the notation: 1s^2,2p^6 for example rather than 1s^2,2px^2,2py^2,2pz^2. I was confused and asked Professor Lavelle in class and he said either form is "acceptable,"
but using x,y, and z is much clearer.

Janet Nguyen 2H
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Re: P-Orbitals (x,y,z)

Same with above. In my lecture, I remember Professor Lavelle saying that we only use Px Py Pz when we want to accentuate that the electrons are occupying separate orbitals. Other than that, it is fine to just use p1 p2 p3

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