What are the Shapes of s, p and d-orbitals in Simple Words?

Shapes of Orbitals:

In simple words, the shapes of orbitals are obtained by probability contours. If we plot the probability of finding electrons versus distance from the nucleus, we see that the probability is zero at the nucleus it increases going away from the nucleus and becomes maximum at distance “r” and then gradually decreases going further away from the nucleus but never becomes zero even at infinite distance from the nucleus.

If we represent probability by dots and draw a boundary around maximum dots, the shape of the orbital is obtained.                                      

Shapes of s, p and d-orbitals:


It has a spherical shape. It is a single orbital.


  They have a dumbbell shape. The three p-orbitals are on the x, y and z-axis. Each p-orbital has two lobes.


They are five in number. Four out of these five contain four lobes while fifth has two lobes and a ring.


They are seven in number. Their Shapes are complicated.

shapes of s p d f orbitals

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