Atomic orbitals: 2p radial distribution function

Schematic plot of the 2p radial distribution function 4πr2ψ2p2

Schematic plot of the 2p orbital radial distribution function.

For 2p-orbitals, the radial distribution function is related to the product obtained by multiplying the square of the radial wave function R2p by r2. By definition, it is independent of direction.

All of p-orbitals have one planar node, The 2p radial distribution function show no radial nodes but the higher p orbitals do. The number of nodes is related to the principal quantum number, n. In general, the np orbital have (n - 2) radial nodes. Therefore, the 2p-orbital has (2 - 2) = 0 radial nodes, as shown in the above plot. Radial nodes become evident in the higher p-orbitals ( 3p, 4p, 5p, 6p, and 7p).


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