Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Calculating the Surface area of a molecule

  1. Nov 5, 2015 #1
    Hi,
    So for a piece of maths coursework I am thinking of trying to calculate the surface area of an atom or molecule. I do not know whether it would be viable because there isn't a clear boundary for an atom/molecule due to the electron clouds. However I wanted to know if I could do something related to this.
    Image62.gif
    I was thinking originally of plotting a graph to the cross-section and then calculating the arc length type of thing, but it didn't really have a significance just as a cross-section. I've been thinking about taking the peaks from the cross section and assuming a regular structure and sphere type of thing and calculating it from there....
    The graph I've attached is one I found on graphite, which doesn't have distinct molecules and is a hexagonal lattice
    If anyone had any thoughts or ideas or better suggestions or any advice as to how I might be able to do this I would be very grateful
    Thanks, B
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2015 #2

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What is usually done is to take the electron density either from experiment or from quantum chemical calculations and plot surfaces of constant density.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook