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Animation of the structure of one of the three 3p atomic orbitals. Orbitals contain an atom's electrons, which are found around the central atomic nucleus (not seen). Each orbital can hold two electrons. The 3p orbital is one of three bi-lobed orbitals arranged perpendicularly to one another. An atomic orbital is a mathematical model of the location of an electron around an atomic nucleus. Electrons do not orbit the nucleus as might be imagined, but instead exist as a standing wave around it. The phases of the wave are arbitrarily coloured red (negative) and blue (positive).
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