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I am confused as to what the author is referring to as e and a in the excerpt below

I am trying to get a better intuition on solid-state physics but I am a chemist by degree. I came across this article that attempts to bridge the gap between solid-state physics and molecular chemistry. However, I am unsure what the author is referring to when he says "a and an e combination". I believe it is talking about the symmetry of the pi orbitals but I really have no clue. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

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