Problem: Different representations of the methane (CH4) molecule. Structural formulas, perspective drawings, ball-and-stick models, and space-filling models.Which model, the ball-and-stick or the space-filling, more effectively shows the angles between bonds around a central atom?

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Analyze each representation of CH4 and determine which effectively represents the 3D or ball-and-stick model

Recall that molecules are 3D objects which means that we can't properly model it using a paper (2D)

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Problem Details

Different representations of the methane (CH4) molecule. Structural formulas, perspective drawings, ball-and-stick models, and space-filling models.

The molecular formula for methane is CH4.The structural formula for methane consists of a central C is single bonded above, right, below, and left to four Hs. All bonds are at right angles to one another.Perspective drawing consists of a C which is bonded above and below, angled right, to H. Both bonds are represented by solid lines, which indicate the bond is in the plane of the page. The C is also bonded below, angled left with a solid wedge to H. The solid wedge represents a bond out of the page. The C is single bonded left and slightly down to a fourth H with a dashed wedge. The dashed wedge is a bond behind the page.A Ball-and-stick model consists of a central sphere (carbon) which is single bonded to four smaller spheres (hydrogens), forming a pyramid shape. The single bonds are represented by sticks.A space-filling model consists of a central sphere (carbon) which is fused on four sides to four smaller spheres (hydrogens).



Which model, the ball-and-stick or the space-filling, more effectively shows the angles between bonds around a central atom?

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