Chemistry 111
Fall, 2005
Prof. Simpson
Chemistry 111
Handout #7
Impress your Family and Friends by Drawing Wavefunctions
•
The wavefunction
Ψ
is just an expression that describes the molecular orbitals we already know and
love (e.g. 1s, 2s, 2p, etc.).
•
Knowing the shapes of the wavefunctions is important because that's what determines the molecules
atoms build and how they react.
Think about how differently you would have to build things if
rectangular bricks were shaped like ovals.
Same idea here.
•
Remember, we cannot "see" the wavefunction, really.
What we see are probabilities = the
mathematical square of the wavefunction.
•
Ok … so the steps to drawing a wavefunction are quite straightforward.
Steps to Drawing a Wavefunction
.
1.
What is the orbital you are supposed to draw?
(e.g. 2p
x
, 5s, etc.)
2.
What is the quantity you are supposed to draw?
Æ
radial probability distribution function
is the r
2
R
2
vs r.
It describes the probability of finding
an electron some distance from the nucleus, without regard to direction.
It also gives us the
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 Spring '08
 Kenney
 Mole, Probability distribution, Atomic orbital, probability distribution function, Drawing Wavefunctions

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