Talk:Electron orbital

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 Definition Quantum mechanical quadratically integrable one-electron function (function of the coordinates of one electron) [d] [e]

Atomic orbital in WP

Before starting this, I looked at AO in WP. What an incredibly bad article! A total mess. It started as a reasonably good article in September 2001 (6 years ago). About 500 edits later by 157 (I counted) different people (and a few bots) the article is a complete tragedy. People are still "improving" it, last edit was on October 6, 2007. This is the best example of WP's weakness I have encountered so far. --Paul Wormer 09:19, 8 October 2007 (CDT)


Too High level?

I am concerned that this article gets too advanced in its treatment of electron orbitals too quickly for a reader who is new to this topic. I am curious how everyone would feel about adding a new introduction at a more general level before getting into the higher level material. Ethan Karpel 23:18, 31 October 2007 (CDT)

Dear Ethan, you can give it a try, but be warned, lots of metaphysical nonsense has been written about orbitals. As you will understand, I won't accept stuff that I consider nonsense. But when you are able to write some qualitative (non-mathematical) introduction that is not contradictory to the more mathematical view of professional theoretical chemists, then I applaud that and I'll help you with it. I would prefer, however, that you point out where your problems are with my writings, and that you and I together try to clear that up and make my text more accessible to the general reader.--Paul Wormer 03:28, 1 November 2007 (CDT)
My immediate thoughts are that the term "quadratically integrable" is going to be to tough to swallow for anyone who hasn't dealt with the Schroedinger equation. I believe it might be better to say "definite solution to the" instead and then pipe the link to "quadratically integrable" or something on the solutions to the Schroedinger equation. Next, I would probably add a new introductory paragraph that briefly touches on what orbitals are and what their significance is. Then I'd move the history section to right after the introduction. Finally, (and this is just wording really) I'd rewrite "indicating the path of the Moon and later the paths of other heavenly bodies as well" as "used to indicate the path of the Moon and later the paths of other heavenly bodies." Ethan Karpel 09:26, 1 November 2007 (CDT)
  • OK, as far as I can see I agree with most of your proposed changes (especially those regarding language and changing order of subjects). However, the concept "quadratically integrable" does not have any connection with the Schroedinger equation (SE), it is the same as "normalizabe", we want to be able to normalize our orbitals, don't we? Solutions of the SE are sometimes normalizable and sometimes they are not (so-called scattering states). Also, an orbital may or may not be a solution of a SE (not the SE). If it is a solution, then certainly it is a solution of an effective one-electron SE. As long as you understand this, you can start working on it as far as I'm concerned, but don't feel offended if I change something. For a chemist I'm a mathematical purist. --Paul Wormer 09:56, 1 November 2007 (CDT)