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The notations for hybrid orbitals denotes how many orbitals are involved in the hybridization. If one s orbital and three p orbitals are mixed, the notation would be s^1p^3. The 1 is implied so its just sp^3. There are 4 orbitals in total being mixed, so the superscripts must add to 4. In the example, the orbitals are in the 2nd energy level, so the hybrid would be 2sp^3.
Zach Richardson 2f wrote:I do not completely understand why the number is what it is on a hybridized orbital. For example, why is an sp3 hybridized orbital called an sp3 when it is made up of the 2s and 2p orbitals?
An sp3 hybridized orbital only has one s orbital and 3p orbitals! So the numbers next to each orbital are just the quantity of each type of orbital!
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