See under (def 2).
of or relating to an .
a wave function describing the state of a single electron in an atom (atomic orbital) or in a molecule (molecular orbital)
the electron in that state.
of or denoting an orbit
(of a motorway or major road circuit) circling a large city
a region surrounding an atomic nucleus in which the probability distribution of the electrons is given by a wave function
an orbital road
in chemistry, the space in an atom occupied by an electron, a subdivision of the available space within an atom for an electron to orbit the nucleus; also, a mathematical function used to describe the behavior of an electron in an atom
1540s, with reference to eye sockets; 1839 with reference to heavenly bodies; from orbit (n.) + -al (1).
orbital or·bit·al (ôr’bĭ-tl)
Relating to an orbit.
A partial description of the quantum state of an electron (or other particle) orbiting the nucleus of an atom. Different orbitals have different shapes and orientations, depending on the energy of the electron, its angular momentum, and its magnetic number. Orbitals have no clear boundaries; the shape of an orbital, as depicted graphically, shows only the regions around the nucleus in which an electron has a relatively high probability of being found. No more than two electrons (each with opposite spin) can coexist in a single orbital because of the Pauli exclusion principle. See also probability wave, quantum number, shell..
- Atomic pile
(def 4). Historical Examples Trailing the wheel ten miles off, was the atomic pile, directly attached to its anchor tube. Where I Wasn’t Going Walt Richmond The atomic pile levers were still at their proper calibration. Atom Drive Charles Louis Fontenay This ship is powered by a nuclear reactor—in other words, an atomic pile. Rip […]
- Atomic power
. Historical Examples As we now realize, atomic power cannot be utilized on a minute scale. This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch Ilg located an atomic power source, and fed the data to Pid. Keep Your Shape Robert Sheckley He wrote: Feudal anachronisms and atomic power, side by side. Teething Ring James Causey They had landed […]
- Atomic radius
noun the radius of an atom; the distance from the atomic nucleus to the outermost stable electron orbital in a atom at equilibrium; also, one-half the distance between nuclei of atoms of the same element, when the atoms are bound by a single covalent bond or are in a metallic crystal
- Atomic reactor
(def 4). Historical Examples When they built the first atomic reactor, did they call it anti-atomic energy? By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett