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Atomic orbitals: 4s electron density

Schematic plot of the 4s electron density function ψ4s2. The three-dimensional plot is sliced in half to show the inner nodal structure. Blue represents negative values for the wave function and red represents positive values.

The "surface" of the orbital represents points for which the electron density for that orbital is the same - an isosurface. By choosing different values of electron density, denoted by the bar moving up and down on the line plot or by the moving plane on the surface plot, then the size of the 3d plot changes. This plot also shows that the magnitude of the electron density for the inner lobes is high so that if we choose a high threshold value (when the bar is high), then we only see one or more of the inner lobes in the three-dimensional plot. Only by moving the bar down sufficiently far does the main outer lobe become visible.

As the wave function is directionless, so is its square. All values are of necessity not negative since the square of any real number cannot be less than zero.

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The Orbitron is a gallery of orbitals on the WWW

The OrbitronTM, a gallery of orbitals on the WWW, URL: http://winter.group.shef.ac.uk/orbitron/
Copyright 2002-2015 Prof Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield]. All rights reserved.
Document served: Sunday 25th June, 2017