Formulas and Structures for Some Simple Molecules

A chemical formula specifies the number of atoms of each element in a compound. The connection formula shows the topology, how the atoms are connected by chemical bonds, usually without regard to their geometry. The actual geometric shape of a molecule can be represented by a structure diagram. This also includes the location of unshared pairs of electrons, which strongly influence the geometry. A Natta projection shows a bond projecting toward the viewer as a solid wedge, while a receding bond is shown as a dashed wedge. In this Demonstration, you can also chose to view a "ball and stick" molecular model. Beginning students in chemistry should become familiar with all these alternative descriptions of molecular structure.



  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


Snapshot 1: connection diagram for ammonia showing a nitrogen atom connected to three hydrogen atoms
Snapshot 2: repulsion by the unshared pair of electrons causes the three N-H bonds to be arranged in a trigonal pyramid
Snapshot 3: ball and stick model of ammonia molecule
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students.
Computerbasedmath.org »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2018 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+