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Old Oct 25th 2017, 06:26 PM   #1
Ipekmike
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Bonding and antibonding orbitals in H2.

I know that there is one bonding orbital and one antibonding orbital in H2, molecular hydrogen. My question is, the two electrons occupy the bonding orbital, but is there anything in the antibonding orbital? I know that the quantum number of orbitals in molecular hydrogen must equal the number of orbitals in each atom of hydrogen, so there must be two orbitals in molecular hydrogen, one bonding and one antibonding, but if all the electrons are in the bonding orbital, what occupies the antibonding orbital? It seems to be empty to me and only a construct to satisfy the demands of quantum balancing. Could someone please answer this for me? Thanks!
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 02:17 AM   #2
adianadiadi
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Yes. You are right. It is empty.
Actually, orbital is a space that is associated with particular energy. That space may be occupied by electrons or not.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 05:01 AM   #3
Ipekmike
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Thanks for the help!

Thanks so much for your answer, adianadiadi. I finally understand that dependent upon the wave state of the electrons of each hydrogen atom, and whether they are in phase or out of phase, will determine whether a hydrogen molecule is formed. If they are in phase, the energy of the bond will be lower than the single atomic bind, so it will be stable (bonding). If, however, the atomic electrons are out of phase, the combined energy will be higher, and thus unstable (antibonding) and a molecule will not form.
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Old Oct 28th 2017, 10:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ipekmike View Post
Thanks so much for your answer, adianadiadi. I finally understand that dependent upon the wave state of the electrons of each hydrogen atom, and whether they are in phase or out of phase, will determine whether a hydrogen molecule is formed. If they are in phase, the energy of the bond will be lower than the single atomic bind, so it will be stable (bonding). If, however, the atomic electrons are out of phase, the combined energy will be higher, and thus unstable (antibonding) and a molecule will not form.
Yes. You are absolutely on the way. Addition and subtraction of wave functions is just mathematical concept. Finally the electrons will decide the stability. If they reside in orbital formed by in phase addition, then that will be stable.
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