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First few hydrogen atom orbitals; cross section showing colour-coded probability density for different n=1,2,3 and l="s","p","d"; note: m=0

The picture shows the first few hydrogen atom orbitals (energy eigenfunctions). These are cross-sections of the probability density that are colour-coded (black=zero density, white=highest density). The angular momentum quantum number l is denoted in each column, using the usual spectroscopic letter code ("s" means l=0; "p": l=1; "d": l=2). The main quantum number n (=1,2,3,...) is marked to the right of each row. For all pictures the magnetic quantum number m has been set to 0, and the cross-sectional plane is the x-z plane (z is the vertical axis). The probability density in three-dimensional space is obtained by rotating the one shown here around the z-axis.

Note the striking similarity of this picture to the diagrams of the normal modes of displacement of a soap film membrane oscillating on a disk bound by a wire frame. See, e.g., Vibrations and Waves, A.P. French, M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series, 1971, ISBN 0393099369, page 186, Fig. 6-13. See also Normal vibration modes of a circular membrane.

Originally uploaded to :en by en:User:FlorianMarquardt at 18:33, 14 Oct 2002.

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current 16:07, 12 March 2005 316×316 (23 KB) MichaelDiederich
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