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 within it. The gold areas are where the electron has a positive wave function, and the red area is where it has a negative wave function. The 3 shell also contains three 3p orbitals and five 3d orbitals at higher energy levels.
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