Since the 1913 edition of Webster's dictionary, the nomenclature of hydrocarbons has become more specific in regards to structure. Tridecane is now specifically a string of thirteen linked carbon atoms, like so:

  H H H H H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | |
  H H H H H H H H H H H H H
Other forms of C13H28 are not considered tridecane, but are identified by naming the longest string of carbon atoms, then referencing the branches off of them, as in 2-methyl dodecane, below:
  H H H H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | | | | |
  H | H H H H H H H H H H
  H-C-H
    |
    H

Tri*dec"ane (?), n. [Pref. tri- + Gr. ten. So called from the number of carbon atoms in the molecule.] Chem.

A hydrocarbon, C13H28, of the methane series, which is a probable ingredient both of crude petroleum and of kerosene, and is produced artificially as a light colorless liquid.

 

© Webster 1913.

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