Atomic Orbitals

Atomic Orbitals

These are 3D intensity plots of atomic orbitals. Since this is showing paritaly transparent intensity plots of the orbitals some of the features might be hard to make out. Try adjusting the intensity with the scroll wheel and selecting slice from the controls to get a clearer view. Shift + scroll wheel will zoom in and out.
Oribital: Display: Basis:

Related Images:


11 responses to “Atomic Orbitals”

  1. Wendy Langer Avatar
    Wendy Langer

    Nice Work!

  2. Marcelo Oliveira Avatar
    Marcelo Oliveira

    Very cool, great work Andy!

  3. Batier Christophe Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this excellent work!

  4. David Prindle Avatar
    David Prindle

    WebGL won’t initialize on my Mac running Chrome Beta

  5. Andy Avatar

    I have all sorts of problems with chrome on my windows laptop. It only loads when it is the only tab. Firefox and canary load it just fine, so that might work with you. WebGL still isn’t fully baked just yet.

  6. […] Curvature of the Mind […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  7. enrico penzo Avatar
    enrico penzo

    I was thinking to start doing this but you were faster :)

  8. Andy Brummer Avatar

    Thanks, This is one of the first projects I took on. I’d love to get some artistic input on how to make the images really stand out. Right now it’s just a basic rendering. I’d love for it to be part of a bigger project like an interactive chemistry or physics text. Sitting here, it’s just a demo.

  9. C Perkins Avatar
    C Perkins

    Could you please comment on the basis, rotating or standing? Also, starting with the n=2, p = 1, m_l=±1 (e.g. 2,1,1) the orbitals are not exactly symmetric with (2,1,0). In almost every other representation online, the orbitals for higher m_l (given a fixed n and p value) are essentially symmetric with the other m_l values, only rotated along a different axis. In your app, the various m_l orbitals in the standing basis are indeed similar but still show marked unique features and are not simply rotated copies of the other m_l values. Could you please comment? Perhaps others are using a simplification of the wave functions (spherical harmonics) for faster/easier calculations? (I already realize that any of these pictures are not a full representation of the complete space AND that for every picture of an orbital as a solid one must choose some surface to represent and so it’s not likely that all pictures will be identical. Even considering that, the orbitals of your app are still obviously different than other renditions.)

  10. Arturo Hernandez Avatar
    Arturo Hernandez

    This is really cool!!!!

  11. Evgeny Demidov Avatar

    I’ve found your work at my old 2012 page I wonder if it is possible to see electron clouds in VR. Unfortunately, it is not clear how do you get “full-blend” images.

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