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en-N This user has a native understanding of English.
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→ My user page on English Wikipedia

→ Gallery of my images (under construction!)

→ All my images in one category

About me[edit]

As an editor on Commons and Wikipedia, I specialise in illustrating these things that are all around us - molecules. So far I have uploaded over 4000 of them. And it is my desire that someday there might be one of them for every single Wikipedia article on a chemical.

I've been doing this on-and-off since my Chemistry A-level in 2010. Most of my chemical knowledge is picked up over the years from Wikipedia and the Commons. People I know are often surprised to find out about my mysterious double-life as a chemistry illustrator. I should note that I'm not a chemist by trade (my degree was actually in Building Services Engineering). To be honest, what I do here is more alike to stamp collecting than professional scientific inquiry.

Yet it is with these contributions that I hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, and to improve scientific literacy in the general populace. Molecular models are easily accessible to the beginner or non-specialist reader. Their aesthetic quality hints at another benefit too - visual memory. Almost all of us can recall facts much better when we have a strong visual object to attach them to.

On a more personal note, I became interested in science as a child because of all the science books we had around the house with their beautiful illustrations. That may have ultimately been what led me to pursue a career in engineering. And knowing how many people read Wikipedia, especially how many to whom it is their first glimpse of the world what you see in a GCSE textbook, has made this easily one of the more fulfilling things I've ever done.

About my images[edit]

I make molecules in a free program called Accelrys Discovery Studio Visualizer. I'll one day get around to making a tutorial on how I do this. Unless noted otherwise, the positioning of the atoms is energy-minimised, to the most realistic conformation. The exception is images with 'from xtal' in their filenames, which are based on crystallography data for that chemical.

In each case, I'll upload a ball-and-stick model and a space-filling one. The space-filling models show atoms at their van-der-Waal's radii, while the ball-and-stick models show them at a quarter of that radius along with any covalent bonds. In some cases, I will upload a stick model, which may omit certain atom types entirely.

All of my molecules are released to the public domain (CC-Zero), so you can use them for any purpose, no strings attached. Crediting me is appreciated, but by no means required. If there is also a specific molecule that you'd like to use but I haven't made it yet, I take requests too. Feel free to leave a message on my talk page.