Chemistry Practice Problems Orbital Shapes Practice Problems Solution: Which of the d orbitals most resembles a pz orbita...

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Solution: Which of the d orbitals most resembles a pz orbital?

Problem

Which of the d orbitals most resembles a pz orbital?

Solution

We’re asked to determine which of the d orbitals most resembles a pz orbital.


First, we need to recall the shapes of p-orbitals and d-orbitals:


  • p-orbitals are shaped like a dumbbell
    • There are (3) possible orientations for the p-orbitals:

• p(along x-axis)

• p- (along y-axis)

• pz(along z-axis)


  • d-orbitals are shaped like a clover (4-leaf):
    • There are five (5) possible orientations for the d-orbitals:
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