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Atomic Orbital structure

Updated on July 25, 2014

Atomic orbital

The term orbital means a region where electron may likely to be found. No specific point are not discovered when any electron can be found in any moment. A space or region can be found where electron may found . But in this no point can be found where in a certain time electron will be found. This region is termed as orbita

Atomic orbital and electron cloud

The two term atomic orbital and electron cloud is the same things. Electron surrounding the nucleus will seems to be a cloud like structure. Not only that any single electron will form a cloud surrounding it self. The eliptical paths of any electron surrounding the nucleus will be just like a cloud like way. This cloud is the region where electron is likely to be found. This cloud is called orbital.

A real life example to make a similarity with atomic orbital

Look at the movement of a ceiling fan. When ceiling fan start to moving with speed it seems that every wings of the fan looks like that they are occupied a certain region. Just like a ceiling fan same things happen in an atom. The electron seems that occupies a certain region. This region is called cloud.


Another example may be helpful to understand, hold a stick with a burning fire at the top. Move it speedly. If you move the stick parabolically you will find a parabolic cloud of fire.

A tube like elliptical path to orbit

A road surrounding the pond may be a good example. If you walk by a walk way road surrounding a pond, sometime you may nearby the corner side of the pond, sometimes you may place in opposite cornerside.

Just like that when electron moves surrounding the nucleus it does not obey just a straight forword way or even a flat way. It exactly maintain a tube like way. Inside the tube the whole space is allowed for electron to occupy. This inside the tube may similar with the cloud of an eliptical path.

Why atomic orbital are formed

Atomic orbital formed due to few causes. Electron have two nature.

1. Wave nature

2. Particle nature

The above two nature of electron is responsible for forming electron cloud.


The wave nature indicate that electron will propagate by the eliptical path by creating wave.


This statement make a limitation of the Rutherfords atomic model. In Rutherfords atomic model their indicated a linear circular way.

When electron will propagate making a wave it will obey a tube like pathway.

A single electron how form orbital surrounding itself

It is possible for a single electron to form a cloud surrounding itself. The two nature of electron is the main cause of forming a cloud surrounding itself.


The electrostatic force between nucleus and electron and other forces implemented on electron, the wave nature of the electron is responsible for vibrating of electron. This vibration creates cloud. Because of this vibration electron have no specific stability in a specific point.

Different theories that supports the atomic orbital structures

Different theories are found to support atomic orbital structures.

These are

1Schrödinger wave equation

2.Maxwell's wave mechaniques

3. Different atomic models

Heigenberg uncertainty principle

Heigenberg uncertainty principle is focusses on the uncertainty about finding an electron surrounding the nucleus. No one can measure the specifc position of an electron surrounding the nucleus.

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