Orbitals not Orbits

If the electron was orbiting they would be called “orbits”.

The word “orbital” therefore correctly indicates that they are not orbits (but suggests that they are related to what would be the allowed orbits if the electron was a particle with the only quantum effect being to confine it to discrete energy levels).

Source: (1000) Alan Cooper’s answer to Why are the atomic orbitals called ‘orbitals’ if an electron is not orbiting the nucleus? – Quora

Leave a Reply