A Neat Trick

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The curly brackets are normally used for nuclear chemistry but they can also be used to create some "bizarre" equations that the chemical equation tool will refuse to format automatically.


For example, if you want to write




The chemical equation tool will not be happy.  It obviously does not "know" Na2+ and will not produce it.


Unfortunately, that is exactly the strange sort of thing a chemistry teacher will need to write sometimes - to test a student's knowledge.


You can actually create this strange ion by typing




The chemical equation tool will treat the 2+ as the mass number of an element and put the 2+ where you want it.  This trick allows you to force things to be superscript even if the chemical equation tool does not agree with you.


Similarly, you can use the curly brackets to force things into subscript.


na{ ,2+}


The comma tells the chemical equation tool that the mass number is finished and the atomic number is beginning and the 2+ will be subscripted