Session 6: Exploring the shapes of molecules
You have looked at the structural formulas of a number of molecules so far in this course.
For example, Figure 1 is a structural formula for hexan-1-ol, which shows you the immediate neighbours of any particular atom. It is a simply a two-dimensional drawing. But in studying the structures obtained by the technique of X-ray crystallography, it can be shown that the atoms in a substance have a definite three-dimensional arrangement in space.
An understanding of the shapes of molecules is often the key to an understanding of chemical reactions, and this is the main focus of your study in this session.