How are nodes in a molecular orbital different different from those of atomic orbitals?

eg. For a Px-Px Pi bond, we would say that the nodal plane is the Y-Z plane (correct me). How about for a Pi* (antibonding) molecular orbital?

I think it should be similar to an atomic orbital, but please confirm.

  • $\begingroup$ The nodal planes in a $\pi^*$ orbital are analogous to the nodal planes in a $d_{xy}$ atomic orbital. Note the plural. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Dec 7 '15 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Why is that? Can you explain more? $\endgroup$ – Shodai Dec 7 '15 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ They are not. A nodal plane is just a plane where the electrons’ wave function is zero. There is no distinction between ‘two types of zero’. $\endgroup$ – Jan Dec 7 '15 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I see, so nodal planes are similarly defined as areas where probability of finding an electron is 0? That means nodal planes for all 3 cases - p-p atomic, p-p pi and p-p pi* will be same, right? $\endgroup$ – Shodai Dec 7 '15 at 14:11

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