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Organic chemistry uses many models to represent molecular structure which differ from each other in the depth of detail. What knowledge do we assume in interpreting these models?

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The nature of a model is that it accurately represents only a portion of the modeled object; for example, model trains accurately represent the shape and proportions of full-sized railroad equipment, but they do not reflect their material components, physical weathering, smell, sound, and so forth. This shouldn't be seen as a problem with models; instead it should be expected and exploited so that a model does an excellent job of representing the thing that it chooses to focus upon and allows another model to do the same for other aspects of the modeled object.

Many of the models used in organic chemistry strike a balance between representing the physical dimensions of a molecule, representing its behavior, and being easy to understand. For...

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