Can the degeneracy of orbitals be affected in anyway?
Certainly. Put the atom in an external electric field, for example, and the Stark effect will tend to split degeneracies. Similarly, the Zeeman effect does the same for a magnetic field.
Sometimes the molecules even do it on their own. (see Jahn-Teller distortion and Peierls distortion)
So stark effect and zeeman effect affect the degeneracies of orbitals... But what about the atom then? How can it be stable? Moreover, stark effect and zeeman effect contributed for the evolution of degenerate orbital concept (I suppose)...
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