Reports

Probability Distribution of Enantiomorphous Forms in Spontaneous Generation of Optically Active Substances

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  03 Dec 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4013, pp. 1018-1020
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4013.1018

Abstract

The crystallization of 1, l'—binaphthyl from its racemic melt is an example of spontaneous generation of optical activity. The distribution of specific rotations in 200 individual samples varied from [α]D = —218 degrees to [α]D = +206 degrees with a mean of +0.14 degree and standard deviation of 86.4 degrees. This resolution into enantiomers is determined by chance development, with equal probability, of right- or left-handed crystallites; it can be controlled and made stereospecific by addition of dissymmetric compounds at low concentrations.