Orbital Graphing©
Mark David Ellison
Wittenberg University
P. O. Box 720
Springfield, OH 45501
United States
mail to: mellison@wittenberg.edu

This goal of this document is to help students become familiar with preparing and viewing three-dimensional graphs of the angular parts of hydrogen-like atomic orbitals. The students plot the angular part of an s (l=0, m=0) orbital and a pz (l=1, m=0) orbital. However, the atomic orbitals p1 (l=1, m=1) and p-1 (l=1, m=-1) are graphed but look nothing like the familiar shape of a p orbital. Linear combinations of these orbitals are graphed, and the combinations result in the familiar px and py orbitals. The process is repeated for some of the d orbitals. In the second part of the document, the students use linear combinations of s and p orbitals to construct hybrid sp, sp2, and sp3 orbitals.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Atomic Properties / Structure, Computational Chemistry, Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
OrbitalGraphing2001i.mcd JCE Computational Document. Requires Mathcad 2001i or higher Mathcad 2001i
OrbitalGraphing2001i.pdf Non-interactive derived from Mathcad 2001i file.
OrbitalGraphingStudentVS2001i.pdf Non-interactive derived from Mathcad 2001i file.
OrbitalGraphingStdnt2001i.mcd JCE Mathcad Computational Document, Student Version. Mathcad 2001i
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Ellison, Mark. J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 158.
Comments to: Mark Ellison
©Copyright 2004 Journal of Chemical Education