16 thoughts on “A Photograph Of A Molecule”

  1. As a Man of Scienceā„¢, it is my duty to tell you that that is really frickin’ cool. Five rings of carbon linked together. What you’re seeing are the regions of high electron density. Remember that atoms are mostly empty space, and it’s the clouds of electrons whizzing about at ridiculous velocities and repelling other electrons that gives things structure at our macro scale.

    The “image” (technically a mapping produced by a raster scan) is fuzzy partially because of the limitations of the experimental technique, but (I’d bet) mostly because things are, in fact, fuzzy at that scale. There are degenerate, hybridized molecular orbitals which electrons can choose from effortlessly, and we don’t so much say where they “are” as much as “where they spend 99% of their time”. So cool.

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