Aromatic rings are a common group in organic chemistry. They are planar ring systems, where a series of double bonds make the molecule conjugated, which means that the p orbitals used for the π bonds overlap with p orbitals on both sides of each carbon atom. Figure 1 shows benzene, one of the simplest aromatic compounds. Though commonly drawn like this, each carbon in the compound is actually bonded in the exact same way to both of its neighbors.

Benzene is a 6 membered carbon ring with 6 hydrogens and 3 carbon carbon double bonds. The structure of benzene can be drawn in 2 ways. The first structure has the carbon and hydrogen atoms written as their element symbol and bonds are shown as lines that connect between the letters. The second drawing is the skeletal structure of benzene. This structure has no element symbols and no hydrogens are shown, instead, there is a regular hexagon. Each place the lines intersect is the location of a carbon atom. In both structures, double bonds are shown with 2 parallel lines between the atoms.

Figure 1. The structure of benzene, one of the simplest aromatic compounds.