Molecular orbitals

Molecular orbitals

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This image is part of the feature Atomic Art

Credit: ERIC HELLER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Molecular orbitals. Computer model of a mixture of molecular orbitals. The electrons in molecules can be arranged in different patterns, giving rise to different energies. These patterns, or molecular orbitals, can co-exist within the rules of quantum mechanics. This leads to the concept of mixing the molecular orbitals to model the overall behaviour of the molecule. This mixing is seen here as the overlapping mix of colours and lines of potential energy surface. This pattern is an example of caustics, the patterns arising when overlap is observed. This model was created as an artwork by Professor Eric Heller.

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