Main page MOLECULAR  GALLERY
 

How do molecules really look like?  Blobs of play dough?  Balls on springs?  ...

Individual molecules are so small that we cannot see them directly (i.e. their shapes  cannot be examined with  visible light).  Based on experiments and  quantum computations chemists have devised  many methods to visualize molecules.  The methods (models) usually emphasize specific aspects of molecular structure (the "focus" of interest), neglecting other  points of view.

We are interested in molecular shapes (how are the nuclei disposed in space) and electron distribution around the nuclei (how do they control  chemical reactivity).  The pictures in our gallery are supposed to visualize these aspects of electronic structure.  Of course, these are only MODELS: the colors are artificial, but nice to look at.

Let's examine several molecules.  Look up there....  See, an electron flew by...

 
 
Hydrogen orbitals
 
Atomic orbitals

Hybridization

CO
 
MOs: methane
 

O2 and N2

π systems
 

 


Methane

Ethylene

Allene

Propene

Acetylene

Benzene

Formaldehyde

Carboxylate

Butadiene

 

vibrations of methane
Vibrations

 
 

 
 
 
 

 

Inversions
 

t-Butyl cation

Allyl
 

Bromonium ion
 

 

   
Molecular Gallery Last updated 09/02/10 Copyright 1997-2013
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