Pages tagged “smell”

10 May 2013

The structure of a smell

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.

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