Lecture 25 - Models in 3D Space (1869-1877); Optical Isomers
recorded by: Yale University
published: June 10, 2010, recorded: November 2008, views: 2968
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Despite cautions from their conservative elders, young chemists like Paternó and van't Hoff began interpreting molecular graphs in terms of the arrangement of a molecule's atoms in 3-dimensional space. Benzene was one such case, but still more significant was the prediction, based on puzzling isomerism involving "optical activity," that molecules could be "chiral," that is, right- or left-handed. Louis Pasteur effected the first artificial separation of racemic acid into tartaric acid and its mirror-image.
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