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How can we say that there are different orbitals in an electron as the smaller orbital for example 2p will come in the region of 3p.

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- Thread starter Hemant
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- #1

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How can we say that there are different orbitals in an electron as the smaller orbital for example 2p will come in the region of 3p.

- #2

BvU

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Does it worry you that the probability distributions for the distance to the nucleus show overlap ?

- #3

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How can we say that there are different orbitals in an electron as the smaller orbital for example 2p will come in the region of 3p.

Because which orbital the electron is in is not determined by where it is. The electron doesn't even have a definite position to begin with. Which orbital the electron is in is determined by its energy and angular momentum.

- #4

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That when we say there are two orbitals 1s and 2s and both have spherical shape and the average distance of 2s orbital is larger so doesn't it means that the smaller s orbital will lie in the region of larger s orbital. In my mind their is picture of atom where two orbitals 1s and 2s lie like a ball(of course it is not but it is the region where we can find the electrons) so the the smaller ball region should lie in the volume of smaller if this is the case then both smaller and larger 1s and 2s orbitals share some volume then if we found an electron in the smaller 1s orbital then it is also present in the larger s orbital so then how can we say in which orbital is the electron present and like that their are many numbers of orbitals in an atom doesn't their region overlap with one another.

- #5

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So sir it means that if the election is found near the nucleus then it can be in the larger p orbital but if we find an electron near the nucleus then shouldn't it have less energy than how can we say that it can be in larger 3p orbital as electron energy is less.Because which orbital the electron is in is not determined by where it is. The electron doesn't even have a definite position to begin with. Which orbital the electron is in is determined by its energy and angular momentum.

- #6

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when we say there are two orbitals 1s and 2s and both have spherical shape and the average distance of 2s orbital is larger so doesn't it means that the smaller s orbital will lie in the region of larger s orbital.

This is not correct. The spatial parts of the wave functions for the orbitals do overlap. Again, which orbital the electron is in is

if we found an electron in the smaller 1s orbital then it is also present in the larger s orbital

This is not correct. Go back and read what I've already written.

if the election is found near the nucleus then it can be in the larger p orbital

If all we know is the electron's position, then yes, it could be in any orbital whose spatial wave function gives a nonzero probability for the electron being found in that position.

But in practice we never find electrons in atoms at particular positions. We don't measure their positions. They don't even have definite positions. We measure their energies and their angular momenta. And that tells us which orbital they are in.

f we find an electron near the nucleus then shouldn't it have less energy

No. The electron is not a classical particle. You can't relate its energy and its position the way you could for a classical particle in a classical orbit.

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Thanks sir

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If all we know is the electron's position, then yes, it could be in any orbital whose spatial wave function gives a nonzero probability for the electron being found in that position.

More precisely,

But

Once again, quantum mechanics does not work like classical physics, and the electron is not a classical particle.

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