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Orbital Shapes Help

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    (1) Which of the following clusters of orbitals would form the shape shown here http://session.masteringchemistry.com/problemAsset/1076900/19/1076900b.jpg and would also be possible within the valence shell of an atom?
    a.) one d orbital
    b.) five d orbitals
    c.) five sp^3 orbitals
    d.) five sp^3d orbitals
    e.) five sp^3d^2 orbitals
    f.) two sp orbitals and three sp^2 orbitals
    g.) three sp^2 orbitals and two p orbitals
    h.) three sp^2 orbitals and one p orbital

    (2) Which of the following clusters of orbitals would form the shape shown here http://session.masteringchemistry.com/problemAsset/1076900/19/1076900a.jpg and would also be possible within the valence shell of an atom?
    a.) two sp orbitals and two p orbitals
    b.) two sp orbitals and four p orbitals
    c.) one sp orbital and two p orbitals
    d.) six sp^3 orbitals
    e.) three p orbitals
    f.) six sp^3d^2 orbitals
    g.) six sp^3d orbitals
    h.) three sp orbitals

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    (1) I'm pretty certain than sp^3d is one of them, but I can't recognize any other and it says that there is more...help?

    (2) Again, I'm almost positive that sp^3d^2 is one of them but I can't recognize any other. Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2010 #2
    q) What does a p orbital look like?
  4. Apr 1, 2010 #3
    I'm not sure at what your getting at...but thanks for the reply.
  5. Apr 1, 2010 #4
    Compare the shape of a p orbital to a pair of sp hybrids, for instance...

    If you just look at the electron probability density rather than the actual sign of the wavefunction, how similar are they?
  6. Apr 1, 2010 #5
    They look pretty similar to me. However, I really don't grasp what your trying to say or how it helps me with answering my question. I'm super bad at this hybridization business and my assignment is due in a couple of hours. Could you perhaps just explain it to me?
  7. Apr 1, 2010 #6
    A two-lobed orbital looks very similar to two one-lobed orbitals, correct?
    So consider that a pair of diametrically opposed lobes could either be two hybrid orbitals or one p orbital (and if you have multiple pairs of opposing lobes, each pair could be a p orbital)...what hybrids could the remaining lobes represent?
  8. Apr 1, 2010 #7

    O.k so I see what you mean. So the answers for the second question would be
    f.) six sp^3d^2 orbitals
    e.) three p orbitals
    a.) two sp orbitals and two p orbitals


    Thanks a lot! :) But what about the first question? There are more answers that could apply. I've selected:
    d.) five sp^3d orbitals
    a.) one d orbital
    Are there any that I am missing for this question?

    Again, thanks a bunch!
  9. Apr 1, 2010 #8
    So far, this is good.

    I'm not seeing the d orbital at all here. Look at the symmetry--the top is a reflection of the bottom, and the vertical axis is also a threefold axis of symmetry.
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