what Carbon atom - 6 electrons, 6 protons and some neutrons, each of which has a wave nature. To visualize a carbon 12 atom showing this detail would require a very small nucleus with overlapping 10cm wave packets for the 6 protons and 6 neutrons (as shown on the right), and more wavepackets for the electrons giving an atomic radius of 10km or so on this scale.

what So we could transform the nucleus to a single point, and concentrate on the 3 dimensional visualization of the electrons BUT the electronic density of even the single electron of a single hydrogen atom is quite tricky. It is generally done with techniques such as smoke rendering. We have developed an ''offlabel'' adaption of our atomistic visualization package AViz which uses dots in different colors to help indicate density for such cases, as seen for hydrogen before and for methane (by Or Cohen) here.

what Such electronic densities for samples with even tens of atoms will be unclear, so we draw
- ``atoms'' as balls
- ``bonds'' as sticks
to obtain a good feeling for the nature of the bonds and be able to view structures of hundreds or thousands of atoms. [BACK] [NEXT]