What Are Hybrid Atomic Orbitals?

[caption id="attachment_6346" align="alignright" width="440"] Pre-hybridization 1s, 2s, 2px, 2py, and 2pz atomic orbitals.[/caption] An atom consists of two components - a nucleus and its orbiting electrons. Nuclei contain neutrons and protons bound together by nuclear force. Electrons travel in well-defined atomic orbitals outside the nucleus. Orbitals come in different shapes. They contain up to two electrons each. A collection of orbits forms an electron shell. Atoms can have more than one shell. Orbitals and shells are identified by letters and numbers. The details are beyond the scope of this article; however, atoms begin filling electron orbitals in the order, Orbitals: s, p, d, f... Shells: 1, 2, 3, 4... First Elements Thus the first ten elements fill their orbitals and shells, Hydrogen 1s¹ Helium 1s² Lithium 1s² 2s¹ Beryllium 1s²…
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