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I'm a bit confused about this phrase "empty d-orbital", because earlier in the course I got the sense that orbitals are states that electrons can be in, rather than locations. My understanding is that when an atom has no electrons in a d-orbital state, then the d-orbital does not exist for that atom. So how can there be an empty orbital? What is a better way to understand why atoms, row 3 and below, can accommodate more than eight valence electrons in bonding?
As far as I understand, an "empty p-orbital" just means that the ground state atom doesn't have electrons in the p-orbital but it is available for bonding. I honestly don't know why this is the case, but I'm just taking it as fact. Sorry if this doesn't really help!
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