December 04, 2020, 11:34:55 AM
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Topic: How do I interpret electron configuration for molecules?  (Read 106 times)

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Offline oaksmith

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How do I interpret electron configuration for molecules?
« on: December 01, 2020, 01:58:50 PM »
I'm very confused on how to interpret electron configuration of molecules. For example, how do I interpret (2a_1)^2(1b_2)^2(3a_1)^2(1b_1)^2 as water vapor? What do the subscripts and superscripts mean?
Thank you! ;D

Offline mjc123

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Re: How do I interpret electron configuration for molecules?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 04:26:21 PM »
a1, a2, b1 and b2 are symmetry labels indicating how the molecular orbitals behave under the symmetry operations of the water molecule. For example, a1 is the totally symmetric representation of the point group C2v. If that last sentence meant nothing to you, you need to study symmetry and group theory.

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