As far back as anyone can remember, the human race has always had a fascination with science and the theories that lie behind. The great discovery of atoms and molecules has been one of the greatest developments of science in all of history. Therefore, it has become necessary to find better ways of communicating the science fact in a simpler way. Molecular models are one of the tops choices available for educating. They are even developing into a niche branch of the art world. However, we must first ask, what are molecular models?
Read on and find out all you may need to know about molecular models.
What are molecular models?
Molecular models are physical translations of molecules and the science behind them. Molecules themselves are groups of two or more atoms which are held together via links called chemical bonds. The bonds and atoms themselves are what is symbolised in each molecular model.
The history of molecular models dates all the way back to the 1600s, however, they are still being widely used today.
What are they used for?
Molecular models have been used in a range of roles throughout their existence. These uses are primarily:
- Education: Molecular models are used in schools to show pupils who atoms bond and to allow them to visualise the links in certain molecules they are learning.
- Theory testing: More complicated molecular models may be used to generate or test new theories. This allows the user to shape the model as they would like for a better understanding.
- Art: Many molecular models are created for the purposes of art. It is popular to wear necklaces featuring a molecular model of dopamine, and many sculptors base their artwork off of molecular models.
What do they look like?
Molecular models are more often than not small plastic balls which represent the atoms, and plastic rods to represent the bonds between them. In earlier forms of molecular models, they were usually wooden balls with holes drilled to fit small wooden rods.
This has developed greatly as artwork changes and scientists aim to create more complicated models.
Molecular models as artwork?
Molecular models have, in recent years, been used as the basis for many pieces of artwork. They can come in the form of sculpture, painting, and many other mediums. They are not always true to the actual built scientific models and can often be portrayed as concepts or artistic visualisations of the molecules they are based on.