Monday, January 26, 2009

Chemical Optical Illusions

I was reading through a back issue of Chemical and Engineering News (LINK) and saw this ad. Now, the ad has a number of problems that reveal (a) that Chem. Eng. News does not proofread the ads and (b) the good people at B&C Pharmaceutical R&D Co., Ltd. have much better English language skills than I have Mandarin language skills.

On the other hand I always thought that structural chemistry was a kind of universal language. Which means that I was kinda surprised that this adamantane was drawn with the usual perspective that suggests the three dimensional structure but with an odd selection of bond interruption that causes an chemical optical illusion. If you focus on the top part of the molecule everything is fine but trying to make sense of the lower cyclohexane moiety makes my eyes cross.

Or I could be wrong and they really are making what appears to be Dewar adamantane.


Chemgeek said...

I guess we can take our traditional bond angles and throw those out the window.

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

I would think that there would be a Nobel for Dewar adamantane though.

Chemjobber said...

My grad school adviser referred to these as Escher molecules. He was rather proud of that naming...

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For a while it was all about research and then it was all about teaching and now it's all about trying to find a balance while teaching at a small liberal arts and science university.