Atomic orbital introduction

Ionisation energies provide evidence that energy levels are split up into sub-levels which gives rise to the theory of atomic orbitals.

Atomic orbital shape


Atomic orbitals are regions of space where an electron is most likely to be found. Analysis of the position of an electron at any one moment in time gives rise to a model which can account for the shape of this region. 

The atomic orbitals necessary for leaving cert chemistry are s and p orbitals. There are one s and three p orbitals (which differ only in their orientation) in every main energy level (bar the first, which only has two electrons). The number of electrons on each main energy level can be found by calculating two 'n' squared where n is the number of the energy level ( = principal quantum number).

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