Wed July 18, 2012 By:

What is the difference between atomic orbitals and energy levels?

Expert Reply
Thu July 19, 2012
Atomic orbitals describe the probable locations of electrons in solitary atoms. The most familiar atomic orbitals are s, p, d, and f (although the exotic, high energy orbitals h, g, i, etc. theoretically exist).

According to the Bohr model, an electron must be in orbit at a given distance from the nucleus of an atom because of the electron's energy. That is, the energy level sets the orbital distance.

Higher energy electrons are in closer orbits, lower energy electrons are in farther away orbits.
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