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Mathematical expression, called a wave function, that describes properties characteristic of no more than two electrons near an atomic nucleus or molecule. An orbital can be considered a three-dimensional region in which there is a 95*percnt* probability of finding an electron. Atomic orbitals are designated by a combination of numerals and letters (e.g., 1*math.s*, 2*math.p*, 3*math.d*, 4*math.f*). The numerals are the principal quantum number and are related to the atomic energy level and distance from the nucleus; the letters indicate the orbital's angular momentum and hence its shape. An *math.s* orbital with zero net orbital angular momentum is spherical. A *math.p* orbital with one fundamental unit of angular momentum, *planck*, is shaped somewhat like a dumbbell (*planck* is Planck's constant, *h*, divided by 2π). The shapes of the other orbitals are more complicated. Molecular orbitals have geometries determined by the overlap of two or more atomic orbitals and are designated by Greek symbols, e.g., σ and π.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

The term orbital has several meanings:## See also

In chemistry:

In media

- The Orbital, the official publication of SURHUL

In physics, astronomy, and spaceflight:

- Orbital motion
- Orbital resonance
- Orbital period
- Orbital plane (astronomy)
- Orbital elements
- Orbital speed
- Orbital maneuver
- Orbital spaceflight

In other fields:

- Orbital Corporation Limited, an Australian engine technology company
- Orbital engine
- Orbital road
- Orbital (band), a UK electronica band
- Orbital (The Culture), artificial worlds from the "The Culture" science fiction universe
- Orbital Sciences Corporation, a U.S. satellite launch and defense systems corporation
- Orbital (video game), a Game Boy Advance game in the Bit Generations series
- Orbitals (album), an alternative rock album by Acroma
- The Orbital, the official publication of SURHUL

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Last updated on Friday September 05, 2008 at 01:36:45 PDT (GMT -0700)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Friday September 05, 2008 at 01:36:45 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

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