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Orbital Shaped Standing Waves Using Chladni Plates

preprint
submitted on 05.11.2019 and posted on 13.11.2019 by Eric Janusson, Johanne Penafiel, Andrew Macdonald, Shaun MacLean, Irina Paci, J Scott McIndoe
Chemistry students are often introduced to the concept of atomic orbitals with a representation of a one-dimensional standing wave. The classic example is the harmonic frequencies which produce standing waves on a guitar string; a concept which is easily replicated in class with a length of rope. From here, students are typically exposed to a more realistic three-dimensional model, which can often be difficult to visualize. Extrapolation from a two-dimensional model, such as the vibrational modes of a drumhead, can be used to convey the standing wave concept to students more easily. We have opted to use Chladni plates which may be tuned to give a two-dimensional standing wave which serves as a cross-sectional representation of atomic orbitals. The demonstration, intended for first year chemistry students, facilitates the examination of nodal and anti-nodal regions of a Chladni figure which students can then connect to the concept of quantum mechanical parameters and their relationship to atomic orbital shape.

Funding

NSERC Discovery

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

mcindoe@uvic.ca

Institution

University of Victoria

Country

Canada

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0001-7073-5246

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest

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