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Unformatted text preview: Wave Functions and Quantum Numbers Schrodinger’s quantum mechanical model of atomic structure is framed in the form of a differential equation called a wave equation because it is similar in form to the equation used to describe the motion of ordinary waves in fluids. The solutions to the wave equation are called wave functions or orbitals, and are represented by the symbol Ψ (Greek psi). The best way to think about an electron’s wave function is to regard it as an expression whose square, Ψ 2 defines the probability of finding the electron within a given volume of space around the nucleus. As Heisenberg showed, we can never be completely certain about an electron’s position. A wave function, however, tells where the electron will most probably be found Solve Wave equation Wave function Probability of finding electron or orbital Ψ in a region of space Ψ 2 A wave function is characterized by three parameters called quantum numbers, represented as n, l, m l , which describe the energy level of the orbital and the three-dimensional shape of the region in space...
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- Fall '07
- Atom, Atomic orbital, Heisenberg