# Shapes of the 4f orbitals in 3D

The lanthanide series is defined by the progressive filling of the 4f orbitals. These seven orbitals have the following ml values:

ml=0, ±1, ±2,
±3

ml=0 are real, all the others are complex and so linear combinations must be taken to obtain
real orbitals.

General set

These are produced by simply taking linear
combinations of m
l=±1, ±2, ±3

 ml 0 z3 ±1 xz2 yz2 ±2 xyz z(x2-y2) ±3 x(x2-3y2) y(3x2-y2)

Explore other atomic orbitals

Comparison of 1s, 2s and 2p-orbitals

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