What Are Radial Nodes?


Quick Answer

Radial nodes refer to circular rings of electrons that occur when atoms increase in size. These nodes are graphical representations of electron orbits around the nucleus of an atom that occur when these subatomic particles move around the atom at very fast speeds.

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What Are Radial Nodes?
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Full Answer

The number of radial nodes in an atom is determined by the equation n-l-1, where "n" is the principal quantum number and "l" is angular orbital momentum. This means there are always fewer radial nodes than angular nodes in an atom, and there are more angular nodes in general in electron orbits. Radial nodes differ from angular nodes in that angular nodes have flatter shapes.

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