3
$\begingroup$

My 7 year old nephew found a chemistry text book and started copying some pictures and diagrams. He drew this and asked me what do the asterisks mean ? He said he normally sees letters which means atoms. But he can't found an atom that called "asterisks" from the periodic table.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Asterisk some times indicates an excited molecule in spectroscopy. It is not an element. In this particular case, this asterisk appears to have a decorative purpose only. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Nov 27 '21 at 17:47
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Your nephew is apparently showing a polymer, with -CH2-CH2- repeating units. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    Nov 27 '21 at 17:48
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ We shall commit to enroll him in a couple of years $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Nov 27 '21 at 19:37
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It is not an asterisk. It means "repeating the central unit -CH2-CH2- a lot of times, without any changes". $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Nov 27 '21 at 20:53
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Alchimista, he seems more prepared now that many other questioners. "Give me the child and I'll give you the chemist," as Aristotle stated (or was it Democritus? Dalton??). $\endgroup$ Nov 28 '21 at 0:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.