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Do the orbitals exist?

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  1. Nov 26, 2014 #1
    If you solve the Schrodinger Equation, you will get solution for the equation, which is orbital.

    My question is, for example, dumbbell-shaped p-orbitals in hydrogen atoms or other atoms,
    is there some expert who visualized this orbitals and confirmed experimentally?

    And how can it be confirmed experimentally, that p-orbitals exist in a shape of dumbbell?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2014 #2

    atyy

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    Orbitals are a particular choice of single electron basis sets, which can be used to make the basis sets for many electrons. The wave function for N electrons is in 3N-dimensional configuration space, so it doesn't have an easy visualization. The wave function for a single electron is in a 3-dimensional configuration space, so it can be visualized as being in space.

    http://vergil.chemistry.gatech.edu/courses/chem6485/pdf/basis-sets.pdf
     
  4. Nov 26, 2014 #3
    What does it mean to exist? We can assemble pictures out of statistics of measured data. Does that count?
    http://io9.com/the-first-image-ever-of-a-hydrogen-atoms-orbital-struc-509684901
    The simple answer is no, they don't exist. They are just idealized models. Does the frictionless mass m (which is so frequently present in undergraduate physics) exist?
     
  5. Nov 27, 2014 #4
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