Radial Distributions Functions for Hydrogen-like Orbitals©
Flick Coleman
Department of Chemistry
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
mail to: wcoleman@wellesley.edu

In this document the exercises allow students to explore some of the properties of the radial distribution functions of hydrogen-like one-electron orbitals. By using the model presented here, students can create expressions for other radial distribution functions.The document includes the plots of the ns radial functions which students can change to view the np and nd functions. The calculus is used to demonstrate how to find the maximum and minimum for the functions. Other exercises include exploring the effect of nuclear charge on the function and extent (size) of the radial distribution function. Throughout students are asked to reflect on the significance of the mathematical analysis.
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
radial.mcd Mathcad Computational Document. Mathcad
radialwc.nb Mathematica Computational Document. Mathematica
radial.pdf Read-Only Document for Mathcad.
radialwcnb.pdf Translated from Mathcad to Mathematica by: Laura Rachel Yindra, Journal of Chemical Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August 2003.
Comments to: Flick Coleman at wcoleman@wellesley.edu.
©Copyright Flick Coleman, 1996. All rights reserved. You are welcome to use this document in your own classes but commercial use is not allowed without the permission of the author.