Problem: For each of these contour representations of molecular orbitals, identify:The atomic orbitals (s or p) used to construct the MO

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We're asked to identify the atomic orbitals (s or p) used to construct the molecular orbital, MO for the given contour MO representation.


Recall that a molecular orbital is formed when 2 atomic orbitals combine


An s-orbital is spherical, while a p-orbital is shaped like a dumbbell with 3 orientations, px, py and pz.


Based on the given contour representation of a molecular orbital we can see that:

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Problem Details

For each of these contour representations of molecular orbitals, identify:


An ellipse with a nucleus (or dot) at each end, attached to which are two small ovals with tapered ends.

The atomic orbitals (s or p) used to construct the MO


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