# What is the shape of the 3p atomic orbital?

The shape of an orbital arise from the solution to the Schrodinger's equation. Pictures showing orbital shapes are intended to describe the regions in space where the electrons occupying the orbital are likely to be found. The diagrams are approximate representations of boundary or contour surfaces where the probability density | Psi |^2 has a constant value, chosen so that there is a certain probability (for example 90%) of finding the electron within the contour.