Lecture 6: Hydrogen Atom Wavefunctions (Orbitals)

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  1. Wavefunctions (Orbitals) for the Hydrogen Atom
  2. Shape and Size of S and P Orbitals
  3. Electron Spin and the Pauli Exclusion Principle

Lecture Video

Where is that electron anyway? In this lecture, the probability of finding an electron at a particular distance from the nucleus is discussed. The concept of wavefunctions (orbitals) is introduced, and applications of electron spin are described. In particular, chemist Ben Ofori-Okai introduces us to the wonders of magnetic resonance imaging, also known as MRIs.

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Lecture Notes

Notes for Lecture 6 (PDF)

Clicker Questions

Lecture 6 Clicker Questions (PDF)

Textbook Reading

Atomic Orbitals Section 1.9 Section 1.9
Electron Spin Section 1.10 Section 1.10
The Electronic Structure of Hydrogen Section 1.11 Section 1.11

Related Behind the Scenes at MIT Videos

Imaging Viruses With Nanoscale MRI

Ben Ofori-Okai discusses the concept of orbital degeneracy (two orbitals with the same energy) in relation to his research on nanoscale MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Specifically, he explains how energy level differences detected with nanoscale MRI can lead to the generation of three-dimensional images of biological molecules, such as proteins and viruses.

Benjamin Ofori-Okai’s Personal Story

Ben Ofori-Okai describes his realization that his love of problem-solving in math class could have an application in chemistry research. He urges anyone intimidated by science to give it another shot because it can be a lot of fun.

Problems and Solutions

Problems for Lecture 6 (PDF)

Solutions for Lecture 6 (PDF)

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