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Animation of the structure of one of the five 3d atomic orbitals. Orbitals contain an atom's electrons, which are found around the central atomic nucleus (not seen). Each orbital can hold two electrons. This 3d orbital is one of four four-lobed orbitals (called 3dxy, 3dxz, 3dyz and 3dx2-y2) arranged around the atom. The fifth (see clips K002 8696-8698) has a different shape. 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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