Px Py Pz

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Madison Wong 3H
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Px Py Pz

Postby Madison Wong 3H » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:41 pm

During Lavelle's lecture on Friday, he kept referring to Px, Py, Pz and other x,y,z orbitals. I was confused on how he determines this, and what the symbols mean. Thanks!

Crystal Yu 1D
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Re: Px Py Pz

Postby Crystal Yu 1D » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:42 pm

The x, y, and z are just meant to name the three different orbitals of the subshell P. I'm pretty sure Professor Lavelle said in lecture #10 that we would not have to know which one is x, y, and z unless it is stated in the problem, so I wouldn't stress too much about it! If you are curious though, the x,y, and z names reference the x,y, and z planes which make more sense if you find a 3D picture of the p orbital.

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Re: Px Py Pz

Postby Kailani_Dial_2K » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:57 pm

Essentially if you look at the diagram that he gave in lecture with the dumbell shapes for the P orbital you will notice 3 axis. There is an x, y, ans z axis. The orientation of the dumbell shape determines the name. OS if the dumbell is on the x axis then the electron is in the Px state , if it is on the y axis then then electron is in the Py state, and if it is on the z axis then the electron is in the Pz state. The names are just used to describe the orientation in which the electron is moving. I hope this helps.

Gabriel Nitro 1E
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Re: Px Py Pz

Postby Gabriel Nitro 1E » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:37 pm


In the context of electron configuration and orbitals, let's break down what "px, py, and pz" means. The "p" in front of each portion of the question indicates the subshell/state the electron is occupying. Thus, the electron is begin associated with the p-subshell/state. The "x, y, and z" refers to the orientation of the orbital in question in the three dimensional space. In other words, you would have three distinct p orbitals (of which are dumbbell shaped) which are aligned to the x, y, and z axis respectively.

Hope this helps! :)

Rob Tsai 2F
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Re: Px Py Pz

Postby Rob Tsai 2F » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:59 pm

In three dimensions, there would be an x-,y-, and z-plane. Px, Py, and Pz simply designate which plane or axis that the orbital is on.

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