Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • In the Classroom
  • Published:

Immersed in virtual molecules

A full grasp of chemistry requires students to be able to connect microscopic reality with symbolic representations. Immersive virtual reality provides a solution for those who need a tangible link between these representations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Johnstone, A. H. Macro- and micro-chemsitry. Sch. Sci. Rev. 64, 377–379 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Talanquer, V. Macro, submicro, and symbolic: the many faces of the chemistry “triplet”. Int. J. Sci. Educ. 33, 179–195 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Taber, K. S. Revisiting the chemistry triplet: drawing upon the nature of chemical knowledge and the psychology of learning to inform chemistry education. Chem. Ed. Res. Pract. 14, 156–168 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Olimpo, J. T. et al. Examining the relationship between 2D diagrammatic conventions and students’ success on representational translation tasks in organic chemistry. Chem. Ed. Res. Pract. 16, 143–153 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Iakovou, G., Hayward, S. & Laycock, S. D. Virtual environment for studying the docking interactions of rigid biomolecules with haptics. Chem. Ed. Res. Pract. 57, 1142–1152 (2017).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Simon J. Lancaster.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lancaster, S.J. Immersed in virtual molecules. Nat Rev Chem 2, 253–254 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing