MinuteEarth's field guide to the world of molecular representations.

Chemistry Basics

Chemical Formulas

Structural Formulas

Skeletal Formulas

3D Representations


Course description

This course was written by MinuteEarth, creators of YouTube videos that combine world-class explanations and visuals to help viewers understand complicated science. The definition of a molecule is pretty simple: it's any group of atoms held together by chemical bonds. Because molecules can come in a huge variety of shapes and structures, scientists have come up with a wide range of diagrams and visual metaphors to represent them. These can feel overwhelming, and sometimes even contradictory. But we're here to help! In this course, you’ll navigate through the main diagrams used to represent molecules, from the colorful ball and stick model, to the zigzaggy skeletal formula, to the intricate ribbon diagrams. By the end, you’ll be able to understand the most common molecular representations, gain intuition for why they are useful, and identify different types of molecules just by looking at their diagrams.


  • Scientific Thinking