Round and Round

Science  18 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5397, pp. 2149d
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5397.2149d

Chiral molecules are characterized by an optical rotation angle, the angle by which plane-polarized light is rotated when it passes through a solution of chiral molecules. Exactly how this angle arises from the molecular conformation and chemical bonding in the molecule has been difficult to identify. Kondru et al. (p. 2247) have developed a quantitative method for computing individual atomic contributions to the optical rotation angle. The method provides insights into how molecular geometry, substituents, and chemical bonding can affect the optical rotation angle.

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