What is the difference between the terms orbit and orbital?

Answers (1)

Orbit

Orbital

Orbits are circular and disc-like.

Different orbitals have different shapes, i.e. s orbitals are spherically symmetrical, p-orbitals are dumb-bell shaped and so on.

It represents the planar motion of an electron around the nucleus.

It represents the three-dimensional motion of an electron around the nucleus.

Orbit is a well-defined circular path around the nucleus in which the electrons revolve.

 An orbital is a three-dimensional space around the nucleus within which the probability of finding an electron is maximum.

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