Electronic Energy Levels:

















Quantum Numbers

 Quantum Number


Characteristic specified

Information provided

 Possible values

Principle quantum number



Average distance from nucleus (r)

1, 2, 3, 4, ...

 Angular momentum (Azimuthal) quantum number


Shape of orbital

0 (s), 1 (p), 2 (d), 3 (f), ...n - 1

 Magnetic quantum number



Orientation of orbital

- l ... 0 ... +l

Spin quantum number


Electron spin

 Spin direction

± 1/2






















1s orbital movie
2s orbital movie
3s orbital movie
1s orbital psi2 plot
2s orbital psi2 plot
3s orbital psi2 plot
1s node movie
2s node movie
3s node movie










For each shell with n = 2 or greater there is one s orbital and three p orbitals: px, py, and pz:

2p orbital movie
3p orbital movie
2p node movie
3p node movie
2p orbital psi2 plot
3p orbital psi2 plot
2p orbital set movie
3p orbital set movie








For each shell with n = 3 or greater there is one s orbital, three p orbitals and five d orbitals: dxz, dyz, dxy, dx2- y2, and dz2

3dxy orbital movie
3dxz orbital movie
3dx2-y2 orbital movie
3dz2 orbital movie
3dxy orbital node movie
3dxz orbital node movie
3dx2-y2 orbital node movie
3dz2 orbital node movie



Atomic Orbitals Supplement






© R A Paselk 2009

Last modified 25 March 2015