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Atomic orbitals: 4f electron density

This page addresses the 4fx3, 4fy3, and 4fz3 electron density functions. The last of these (4fz3) is common to both the general and cubic 4f orbital sets. The other two are not in the general set. See below for links to images of the electron densities of the other 4f orbitals.

Schematic plot of the 4fx(5x2-3r2) (abbreviated as 4fx3) electron density function ψ4fx(5x2-3r2) (or ψ4fx3). Blue represents negative values for the wave function and red represents positive values.

The line graph on the left is a plot of values along the x-axis. The surface plot on the right shows values of ψ4fx3 on any slice drawn through the x-axis such as the xy and xz planes. The x-direction is the same in all three plots.

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 three-dimensional plot changes.

All values are of necessity not negative since the square of any real number cannot be less than zero.

The 4fx3, 4fy3, and 4fz3 are identical in appearance and differ only in direction. This is best seen when viewing all three together.

Links to 4f electron density functions

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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: Wednesday 26th September, 2018