# 5*p* orbitals

**The shape of the three 5 p orbitals.** From left to right: 5

*p*

*, 5*

_{y}*p*

*, and 5*

_{z}*p*

*. For each, the yellow zones are where the wave functions have positive values and the white zones denote negative values.*

_{x}For any atom, there are three 5*p* orbitals. These orbitals have the same shape but are aligned differently in space. The three 5*p* orbitals normally used are labelled 5*p** _{x}*, 5

*p*

*, and 5*

_{y}*p*

*since the functions are "aligned" along the*

_{z}*x*,

*y*, and

*z*axes respectively.

Each 5*p* orbital has eight lobes. There is a planar node normal to the axis of the orbital (so the 5*p*_{x} orbital has a *yz* nodal plane, for instance). Apart from the planar node there are also three spherical nodes that partition off the small inner lobes. The higher *p*-orbitals (6*p*, and 7*p*) are more complex still since they have additional spherical nodes.

The origin of the planar node becomes clear when inspecting the wave equations which, for instance, includes an *x* term in the case of the 5*p** _{x}* orbital. When

*x*= 0, then there is a node, and this by definition is the

*yz*plane.

The origin of the spherical nodes becomes clearer when inspecting the wave equations which which include (120 - 90*ρ* + 18*ρ*^{2} - *ρ*^{3}) terms. When (120 - 90*ρ* + 18*ρ*^{2} - *ρ*^{3}) = 0, then there are nodes.

The Orbitron

^{TM}, a gallery of orbitals on the WWW: https://winter.group.shef.ac.uk/orbitron/

Copyright 2002-2021 Prof Mark J. Winter [Department of Chemistry, The University of Sheffield]. All rights reserved.