Chemical LaTeX typeset

$$dE = dQ-dW$$

$$C=\frac{dQ}{MdT}$$

$$dQ$$
$$dE$$
$$dW$$
$$M$$
$$dT$$

sorry for spam =(
 Admin I have not used these symbols for ages, not to mention in LaTeX. How should I properly format statement "for each a and b belonging to set P if a

First post, and it's about LaTeX! I've been working with LaTeX for some time now, and recently started getting serious about typesetting spectroscopic notation. I actually started this post asking a question, but while developing the post, I came across an acceptable answer. As such, the tone of this post will change from question to tip.

I have been trying to typeset any general chemical equation or spectroscopic configuration notation without italics. I have known of the \text{} command, and recently found the \textrm{} command, but both of these complain when there are superscripts, subscripts, or Greek characters within the {} delimiters.

As is shown in this thread, you can easily get away with carefully placing the delimiters and \text{} commands. For example, I want to write the following configuration information:

$$\text{4f}^{14}\text{6s6p}~^3\text{P}_1$$

As another example, as was previously posted,
 Quote by Borek $$10\textrm{K}_{4}\textrm{Fe(CN)}_{6}+122\textrm{KMnO}_{4}+299\textrm{H}_ {2}\textrm{SO}_{4}\rightarrow162\textrm{KHSO}_{4}+5\textrm{Fe}_{2}\text rm{(SO}_{4}\textrm{)}_{3}+122\textrm{MnSO}_{4}+60\textrm{HNO}_{3}+60\te xtrm{CO}_{2}+188\textrm{H}_{2}\textrm{O}$$
My problem: Although this works, it is quite messy to read for arbitrarily complex expressions. Further, I have to manually ensure this content is in math mode, which can be a pain when applying it to an arbitrary location.

My solution: Use the \mathrm{} command! Here's the same examples, cleaned up a bit using this new command:

$$\mathrm{4f^{14} 6s 6p ~ ^3P_1}$$

$$\mathrm{10 K_4 Fe (CN)_6 + 122 K MnO_4 + 299 H_2 SO_4 \rightarrow 162 K H SO_4 + 5 Fe_2 (SO_4)_3 + 122 Mn SO_4 + 60 H NO_3 + 60 CO_2 + 188 H_2 O}$$

Even better, define a new command which enforces math mode, as well as this Roman font. something like

\newcommand{\chem}[1]{\ensuremath{\mathrm{#1}}}

and then you can just simply type \chem{H_2 SO_4} wherever you want, both inside or outside of math mode. With proper use of whitespace, the LaTeX markup looks more elegant and easy to read/diagnose in my opinion.

Hope this helps! It definitely helps me!
 Recognitions: Gold Member Homework Help Science Advisor Hmmmm. I'm not quite sure what you are getting at....
 Well, take a look at the actual TeX code for the two examples. To compare, here's the original: Code:  10\textrm{K}_{4}\textrm{Fe(CN)}_{6}+122\textrm{KMn O}_{4}+299\textrm{H}_{2}\textrm{SO}_{4}\rightarrow 162\textrm{KHSO}_{4}+5\textrm{Fe}_{2}\textrm{(SO}_ {4}\textrm{)}_{3}+122\textrm{MnSO}_{4}+60\textrm{H NO}_{3}+60\textrm{CO}_{2}+188\textrm{H}_{2}\textrm {O} and here's the one I propose Code: %this should go in your preamble somewhere \newcommand{\chem}[1]{\ensuremath{\mathrm{#1}}} %and then later, in your document... \chem{10 K_4 Fe (CN)_6 + 122 K MnO_4 + 299 H_2 SO_4 \rightarrow 162 K H SO_4 + 5 Fe_2 (SO_4)_3 + 122 Mn SO_4 + 60 H NO_3 + 60 CO_2 + 188 H_2 O} Another advantage is that, should you ever decide that you like italic letters in your formulas, or if you want them bolded or whatever, you can just go edit the \chem definition, and then all instances of that command in your document will take advantage of the global edit.
 Hello, I was wondering if someone could help me with some latex typeset. I can't find how to do the L- and D- used in chemistry to distinguish the chirality of a compound. Thanks for your help!
 Thanks so much for this thread! I just have one question. How do I get the equilibrium arrows to stay centered when listed on a page? $$NO_2 + CO~ \xrightarrow{k_1}~ NO + NO_3$$$$NO_3 + CO~ \xrightarrow{k_2}~ NO_2 + CO_2 +XXXX +YYYYYY +ZZZZZZ$$ Can you see how if this was centered on a page the arrows wouldn't be aligned?
 Hi icosane, Some time ago, I participated in a thread that talked about multi-line equations in LaTeX. You can find it at http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=325387. For your example, try something like: \begin{align}\begin{split} NO_2 + CO~ &\xrightarrow{k_1}~ NO + NO_3\\ NO_3 + CO~ &\xrightarrow{k_2}~ NO_2 + CO_2 +XXXX +YYYYYY +ZZZZZZ \end{split}\end{align} To show you that the alignment is behaving: \begin{align}\begin{split} NO_2 + CO~ &\xrightarrow{k_1}~ NO + NO_3\\ NO_3 + CO + XXXX + YYYYY + ZZZZZZ~ &\xrightarrow{k_2}~ NO_2 + CO_2 +XXXX +YYYYYY +ZZZZZZ \end{split}\end{align}