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ERIC Number: EJ1014570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Three-Dimensional Visualization of Wave Functions for Rotating Molecule: Plot of Spherical Harmonics
Nagaoka, Shin-ichi; Teramae, Hiroyuki; Nagashima, Umpei
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n5 p669-670 May 2013
At an early stage of learning quantum chemistry, undergraduate students usually encounter the concepts of the particle in a box, the harmonic oscillator, and then the particle on a sphere. Rotational levels of a diatomic molecule can be well approximated by the energy levels of the particle on a sphere. Wave functions for the particle in a one-dimensional box and the one-dimensional harmonic oscillator are functions of one coordinate and are easily drawn using Microsoft Excel due to rapid advancements in computer hardware and software. In this article, wave functions for rotating diatomic molecules (spherical harmonics) were three-dimensionally visualized by using Graph-R in tandem with Excel. (Contains 2 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A