This time we have collected a handy of orbital diagrams with various types in high definition! There are alkali, argon, electron, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur orbital diagrams that you can save for free. Orbital diagrams are pictorial descriptions of the electrons in an atom. Three rules are useful in forming orbital diagrams. According to the Auf Bau Principle, each electron occupies the lowest energy orbital. The Pauli Exclusion Principle says that only two electrons can fit into an single orbital. The figure below is the orbital diagram of alkali.
Each orbital has a name. The orbital occupied by the hydrogen electron is called a 1s orbital. The “1” represents the fact that the orbital is in the energy level closest to the nucleus. The “s” tells you about the shape of the orbital. s orbitals are spherically symmetric around the nucleus – in each case, like a hollow ball made of rather chunky material with the nucleus at its centre. 2s (and 3s, 4s, etc) electrons spend some of their time closer to the nucleus than you might expect. The effect of this is to slightly reduce the energy of electrons in s orbitals. The nearer the nucleus the electrons get, the lower their energy. 3s, 4s (etc) orbitals get progressively further from the nucleus. The orbital diagrams below are of argon, nitrogen, and electron.
Unlike an s orbital, a p orbital points in a particular direction – the one drawn points up and down the page. At any one energy level it is possible to have three absolutely equivalent p orbitals pointing mutually at right angles to each other. These are arbitrarily given the symbols px, py and pz. This is simply for convenience – what you might think of as the x, y or z direction changes constantly as the atom tumbles in space.
The orbital diagrams above are of phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur. All these diagrams are free and printable. Just click on the image to enlarge and save it. Don’t forget to share this article to your social media!