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Atomic orbitals: 2p radial distribution function

Schematic plot of the 2p radial distribution function r2R2p2 (R2p = radial wave function).

For 2p-orbitals, the radial distribution function is related to the product obtained by multiplying the square of the radial wave function R2p by r2. By definition, it is independent of direction.

In addition to a planar node, p-orbitals, display a number of radial nodes that separate the largest, outer, component from the inner components. The number of nodes is related to the principal quantum number, n. In general, the np orbital has (n - 2) radial nodes, so the 2p-orbital has (2 - 2) = 0 nodes, as shown in the above plot. Radial nodes do, however, become evident in the higher p-orbitals (3p, 4p, 5p, 6p, and 7p).

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