10 May 2013
This is a post about the power of pictures and the smell of wee.
Chemicals, in the macroscopic, room-temperature-and-pressure world that we inhabit, are defined by what they do. Cyclopentane is a flammable liquid, a solvent, it smells a bit like petrol - and so on.
Structural formulae, to give them their proper appellation, are graphical representations of the arrangements of atoms within a molecule. Usually a few lines represent a carbon skeleton, and other atoms' elemental symbols are connected by lines representing covalent bonds.