This picture shows what hydrogen atoms might look like if we could see them.
The chart above shows the appearance of a single hydrogen atom in a few of its lowest excited states. In each of those states, the electron is found in a different orbital, some of which have unfamiliar shapes. But even the term “shape” is a little funny for something that you can’t hold in your hand. These are actually probability density plots, which show the likelihood of observing the electron in any one position at a given time– and more correctly, 2D projections of 3D probability densities.
So even the humble hydrogen atom can be a bit complex. Fortunately, we have advanced technology that can help us cut though the quantum mechanical haze: Cookies!
What we can see (and taste) are cookies made to resemble the shapes of the hydrogen atoms in the chart. The folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories made these cookies and will show you how you can make them, too!