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Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:02 pm
Howdy there. I was wondering about the conceptual explanation behind why higher orbitals have more energy. Is it because of distance from the positively charged nucleus?

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:16 pm
Higher orbitals have more energy because the electrons have higher potential energy. If an electron is able to gain more energy it can jump to a high orbital making it easier for it to be removed from an atom. So, because the electrons in higher orbitals have higher potential energy, the orbital is said to have higher energy.

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:19 pm
Since it takes work to pull an electron away from an atom (as electrons are negative and protons are positive), higher orbitals will have higher energy.

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:04 pm
Hello! I was wondering if anyone could explain the concept behind nodal planes? I am having trouble conceptualizing it.
Thank you!

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:05 pm
Hello! I was wondering if anyone could explain the concept behind nodal planes? I am having trouble conceptualizing it.
Thank you!

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:10 pm
Elle_Mendelson_4I wrote:Hello! I was wondering if anyone could explain the concept behind nodal planes? I am having trouble conceptualizing it.
Thank you!

Nodal planes are areas between the orbitals where no electrons will ever be found. If you think of the p-orbital which is two petal shaped that meet in the middle the nodal plan will run right through there. The nodal plane runs through the nucleus, which makes sense because the electrons would never be in the nucleus.

Re: Concept Behind Orbitals

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:33 pm
Schrodinger's wave equation gives us electron probability densities, and when we graph them it gives us orbital shapes. However, some orbitals have areas where the electron probability density is zero, meaning you will never find an electron there. This results in a nodal plane that consists of multiple points where you will never find an electron. For example, the 2p orbital looks similar to two spheres merged together; however, between those two spheres is a nodal plane. The nodal plane is like a piece of paper that splits the two lobes. If you search up a picture of the 2p orbitals, it will look as if the two lobes almost touch, but you know they're not because there is a nodal plane dividing them where electrons will never go.