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Do radial nodes exist in molecular orbitals? Radial nodes exist in atomic orbitals and the number of radial nodes for an atomic orbital can be determined by the general formula $n-l-1$ where $n$ is principal quantum number and $l$ is azimuthal quantum number. But do radial nodes exist in molecular orbitals, and if they exist, is there a general formula for determining number of them present?

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    $\begingroup$ hi, and welcome to chemistry StackExchange. Have a look at the wikipedia page, you should be able to answer your question. google.co.uk/… $\endgroup$ – porphyrin Oct 6 '16 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Well, if the atom had radial nodes, they are certainly not going anywhere, and so they must appear in the MO. As for counting them, that would be the most strange subject to bother yourself with. Nobody cares about the radial nodes. Anyway, nearly all chemistry occurs outside of the outermost such node. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Oct 6 '16 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ No, radial nodes are zeros of the radial wavefunction. For it to be possible to seperate the wave function into a radial part and a spherical harmonic the system you are trying to describe needs to be spherically symmetric. An atom is but a molecule can never be. Thus the whole concept of radial nodes does not exist for molecules. $\endgroup$ – Philipp Oct 6 '16 at 20:52

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