# Where does the maximum electron density occur for 2s and 2p orbitals in hydrogen atom?

##### 1 Answer

For hydrogen, we have to use **spherical harmonics**, so our dimensions are written as **wave function** is defined as follows, via separation of variables:

#color(green)(psi_(nlm_l)(r,theta,phi) = R_(nl)(r) Y_(l)^(m_l)(theta, phi))#

*If you don't understand all of that, that's fine; it was just for context.*

To get the **maximum electron density**, you have to look at probability density curves.

If we plot **probability density** curves for an atomic orbital.

The

From this, you can tell that the maximum electron density occurs near

From this similar diagram, we can compare the

Here, you should see that the

This should make more sense once you realize what the **probability density plots** of the

**2s**

**2p**

*"The density of the [dark spots] is proportional to the probability of finding the electron in that region" (McQuarrie, Ch. 6-6).*

Basically, start with a radius of 0, and expand your radius of vision outwards from the center of the orbital, and you should be constructing the probability density curves (radial distribution plots).