p orbital notation

by Hypersphere
Tags: notation, orbital
Hypersphere is offline
May21-13, 03:13 PM
P: 178

Reading http://rmp.aps.org/abstract/RMP/v70/i4/p1039_1 I've run into a notational question of atomic p orbitals. The authors use symbols like [itex]p_\sigma[/itex] and [itex]p_\pi[/itex]. From their fig. 3 (attached), they do look like [itex]p_x[/itex] and [itex]p_z[/itex] orbitals, respectively, rather than anything close to σ or π bonds.

Is this just a common notational convention that I've somehow missed? And if so, what is the symbol for the third p orbital?
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DrDu is offline
May22-13, 01:33 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 3,375
Where's the figure?
Hypersphere is offline
May22-13, 04:20 AM
P: 178
Here it is, I hope...
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DrClaude is offline
May22-13, 04:34 AM
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P: 1,111

p orbital notation

They are the indeed ##p_x## and ##p_z##orbitals. My guess is that they are using this notation to signify that the bond formed will be a ##\sigma## or ##\pi## bond.
Hypersphere is offline
May22-13, 04:49 AM
P: 178
Ah! Now that makes some sense. Thank you.

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