DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An electron orbital is a region around an atomic nucleus (not seen) in which one or a pair of electrons is most likely to exist. The orbital is seen halved at right to show the concentric spherical nodes. Blue areas are where the wave function of the electron is positive, gold areas are where the electron has a negative wave function. The 4s shell also contains three 4p orbitals, five 4d orbitals and seven 4f orbitals, all at higher energy levels.
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