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Why is it called d (x2-y2)?

  1. Jun 30, 2014 #1
    Hi all,
    One of the orbitals of the d subshell is called d (x^2-y^2). What is the reason behind that? It would be helpful if someone could give the calculations.

    Thanx in advance...

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2014 #2


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    It is simply the angular part of x^2-y^2. Use ##x=r \sin \theta \cos \phi## and ##y=r\sin \theta \sin \phi##.
  4. Jun 30, 2014 #3
    While any decent quantum chemistry or quantum mechanics book should have the calculation for you, I did find these physical chemistry notes online that should do the trick. There's plenty online on (visualization of) the spherical harmonics, so if you need more information on them in particular, shouldn't be too hard to find.
  5. Oct 25, 2015 #4
    This is actually the wave function obtained after solving Schrödinger wave equation and by comparing linear part of the function with mathematical trigonometric functions it looks like the squad of rectangular coordinate x minus square of rectangular coordinate y
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