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My question is very simple. How big is a carbon dioxide ($\mathrm{CO}_2$) molecule, i.e. the width, length and height of it?

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$CO_2$ molecule

enter image description here

The molecule is linear (all three atoms are in a co-linear line). The C=O bond is 116 pm, so the entire molecule (from centre of O to other O) is 232 pm. The extent in the other directions normal to the axis of symmetry is not well-defined as the electron cloud is diffuse and depends significantly on environment.

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  • $\begingroup$ alright, i've got to admit, that i'm not an scientist... so i've you take a millimeter, how far beyond the dot (0.000.....) must i go before i see these numbers (232 pm)... Thanks :P $\endgroup$ – Mathlight Apr 7 '12 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ picometer is $10^{-12} m$ i.e. a decimal followed by 11 zeros. $\endgroup$ – Vineet Menon Apr 8 '12 at 6:23
  • $\begingroup$ alright, so it is around the 0,000 000 000 232 meter... thanks for your help. $\endgroup$ – Mathlight Apr 10 '12 at 9:40

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