Models are key to our visual understanding of chemical molecules. Different types of models use different symbolism to represent the same information. Each type of model has advantages and disadvantages. For example, space-filling models are the most realistic representation possible of a molecule, but are time-consuming and moderately difficult to make. In contrast, a ball-and-stick model can quickly give you essential (but necessarily simplified) information about the spatial organization of a molecule.
last modified: 16 April 1997