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Atomic orbitals: 3p radial distribution function

Schematic plot of the 3p radial distribution function r2R3p2 (R3p = radial wave function).

For 3p-orbitals, the radial distribution function is related to the product obtained by multiplying the square of the radial wave function R3p 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 3p-orbital has (3 - 2) = 1 nodes, as shown in the above plot. Further radial nodes become evident in the higher p-orbitals (4p, 5p, 6p, and 7p).

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