What is the difference between an orbit in the Bohr model of the atom and an orbital in the quantum mechanical view of atom?

1 Answer
Nov 15, 2015

With orbits (the Bohr Model) elections are at a fixed positions. With orbitals (the Quantum Mechanical Model), electrons change positions


With the Bohr Model, electrons are at a fixed position. (starting from the bottom, closest to the nucleus, electrons could be at n = 1, 2, 3, etc.) As they get "excited", they move up. (Think of climbing up a ladder). When they relax, they move back down. (Climbing down the ladder).

With the Quantum Mechanical Model, electrons constantly change positions. This model shows the positions that the electrons take within a certain orbital (s,p,d,f). If you take photos of each position that the electron is in, and put them all together, you'd come up with the various shapes that they create, within the orbital (s = spherical shape, p = dumbbell shape, d = 4 lobes, or blades of an electric fan, and f = dumbbell shape with a ring around it.).

Hopefully this helps.