Reply To: Chemistry arrows with horizontal lines below them

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Lindy Walton

Beth, you really have me thinking on this one! I "asked my expert" chemist about the significance of the print layout and her answers are copied below, in italics. If I am understanding her correctly, it seems to me that the arrangement of the diagrams is significant, which, to me, points to a good reason to use tactile graphics. By reproducing the drawings, you will not need to try to interpret what they mean. The possibility of giving the wrong interpretation is too risky.

FIRST EXAMPLE (sp and 2p and x's) (I asked "Is there a reason the 2p diagram is raised higher than the sp diagram?") ANSWER: It is important to note that the 2p diagram is raised to indicate that it is a little higher in energy than the sp diagram. The x's may be indicating that there will be other electrons from another atom bonding to that carbon atom that has sp hybridization. That would be my guess based on the little bit of wording that was copied over.

SECOND EXAMPLE (the more complex display) (I asked " Is there significance to the vertical alignment of the energy arrows? That is, are the six configurations related to one another and is that why the text has aligned them in this manner?" ANSWER: The alignment is intentional because the orbitals at the top of the image are highest in energy and the ones at the bottom are lowest in energy. It is also important to keep the ones that have two lines with electron arrows the same because those denote two orbitals that are at the same energy level.

I hope this helps.