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 the orbital. Gold areas are where the wave function of the electron has a positive value, and red areas where it has a negative value. The 5s orbital has the lowest energy of the orbitals in the 5 shell, which also includes three 5p orbitals, five 5p orbitals and seven 5f orbitals.
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