10 Jun 2015

The Orbitron

Web Resources and Apps

Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University
Categories
Description: 

Do you want to show your students beautiful illustrations of atomic orbitals? My favorite place to go is the Orbitron, Mark Winter's gallery of AOs and MOs on the web. Not only can you see images, but you can link to different representations of the wave functions and electron density functions.

Flash is required for this site.

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

Comments

My students really appreciate The Orbitron.  I post the link to Moodle as part of an "Extra Resources" section and announce it in class.  This helps my students develop a 3D view of orbitals that is lacking in my unsophisticated chalkboard drawings.  They also use this to check their mental processes by trying to make predictions about an orbital before they look at it.  As Barb advertised, one can view the radial probability in a few different representations that emphasize the change in sign of the wavefunction. 

I put this link on my course page, too, and demonstrate it in class. Students have a better time interpreting and drawing the 2D functions after they've seen these 3D depictions. The warning about Flash is important if your classroom computers aren't normally equipped with it.

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