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Skeletal formulas?

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1
    What do these hexagonal shapes in chemistry and biochemistry mean?

    I believe they are called "skeletal formulas" but how are they written, and how do they work?

    [PLAIN]http://www.beatingaddiction.com/img/addictions/l-4038-e593256abe47451acdc9e8be36e78c18.png [Broken]

    Does each of the joints in these hexagonal structures represent an atom bonded to another atom?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #2
    Re: Skeletal forumlas?

    I guess they are called " radicals "

    and the straight lines denote number of bonds in between the singular elements where 1 line is for 2 electrons shared and (n) lines for (2n)electrons shared.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #3


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    Re: Skeletal forumlas?

    Each node is an atom. Carbon atom, if not marked otherwise. Structure doesn't contain information about hydrogen atoms, they are assumed to be present in all places where there are unused bonds (carbon atom always have four bonds, whenever you see less, that means some hydrogen atoms are attached). Hexagonal structure drawn with three double bonds and three single bonds is an aromatic system, in such a system all bonds are identical and they are neither single nor double.

    Radicals are something completely different.

    For the record, substance on the image is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etacrynic_acid
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  5. Sep 3, 2011 #4
    Re: Skeletal forumlas?

    Carbon, hydrogen, How many different kinds of atoms are there?
  6. Sep 3, 2011 #5
    They're called line structures. In this particular molecule, there are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms.
  7. Sep 4, 2011 #6


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    Re: Skeletal forumlas?

    Define "kind of an atom". Elements? Around 117 at the moment. Isotopes? Many times more.
  8. Sep 4, 2011 #7
    Re: Skeletal forumlas?

    What defines an atom as a certain type or element? What is the difference between a chlorine atom and a hydrogen atom?

    Is it true that there are only thee different types of subatomic particles. Protons, neutrons, and electrons? Atoms can only have a positive, negative, or neutral charge?
  9. Sep 4, 2011 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    Have it ever occurred to you that instead of asking zillions of questions and hoping to be spoonfeed you can look for answers on your own?





    Have you heard about different kinds of charge?
  10. Sep 4, 2011 #9


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    It's a bit like asking, "What are all those X's and O's on the football coach's whiteboard? How are they written and how do they work?"

    They stand for things, their position relative to all the other symbols has a meaning beyond their simple placement. There are rules to learn and logic of the relationships as well.

    Waaaaay too much to go into beyond a simple, "where the lines meet you have a carbon atom..." you see.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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