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This question already has an answer here:

I've heard both of the following:

  • An orbital is a region where there's a 90% probability of finding an electron
  • An orbital is a region where an electron spends 90% of its time

Are these essentially the same things? Or which one is correct and why? Edit- I've heard both from veritable sources and only need a confirmation not a precise definition.

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marked as duplicate by Todd Minehardt, Mithoron, Martin - マーチン Apr 25 '18 at 16:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ essentially the same thing $\endgroup$ – porphyrin Apr 25 '18 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ If an electron spends 90% of its time in an orbital, then the probability of finding an electron there is 90%; they're interchangeable in my opinion. Orbitals are where we think electrons exist anyway. $\endgroup$ – user60221 Apr 25 '18 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ @KianStevens Like every statement in your comment is incorrect. :/ $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Apr 25 '18 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron, can you please tell me what's correct then ? $\endgroup$ – Plusminus Apr 26 '18 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/39438/… $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Apr 26 '18 at 17:33