So what is Caffeine?
Caffeine is composed entirely of carbon, hydrogen,
nitrogen and oxygen, with the general formula C8H10N4O2.
To give us chemists a better description of what this molecule is really
like, there are several names. The most common name is 1,3,7 - trimethylxanthine,
which is useful is considering caffeine's relationship to the other xanthines
(see methylated xanthines). Other names include
By far the best way to understand a molecule, though,
is to look at a model. The red balls are oxygen, white is hydrogen, blue
is nitrogen and the green balls are carbon.
Molecular structures: top - created using ChemWeb software
bottom - used without permission from http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/caffeine/caffeine_images.shtml
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Simon Tilling - Caffeine