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Symmetry And Group

The Structure of Atoms and the Octet Theory of Valence by Langmuir I.

By Langmuir I.

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Baseball players dash counterclockwise around the bases. Carousels and carnival rides as well. Even customers in supermarkets are guided into a couterclockwise shopping tour. As Scot Morris, a correspondent, put it (in Gardner 2005) “it seems that everything goes counterclockwise except clocks”. 1 In specific cases a molecule is achiral if it shows a center of symmetry. (3S,6R)3,6-dimethylpiperazine-2,5-dione serves as example for a cyclic molecule with a center of symmetry, but without a plane of symmetry, that is achiral.

Illustration: St´ephane Le-Saint, Universit´e de Nice-Sophia Antipolis Today, one assumes that dust particles, such as those depicted in Fig. 2, serve as containers for chiral amino acids. These particles coagulate forming eventually larger bodies like comets. 8 billion years ago. The comet components were heated during the atmospheric entry and impact with the planet’s surface. The delivered chiral organic molecules might have played an important role in the appearance of primitive life and the emergence of biomolecular asymmetry on Earth.

Here, the direction of the magnetic field vector applied to a chemical reaction would determine the stereochemical configuration ((+)- or (−)-enantiomers) of the products. In order to figure out such an intriguing possibility of magneto-optical effects, photoreactions were studied in strong directed magnetic fields in which the incoming photons disposed of a fixed orientation relative to the magnetic field. 07% hexahelicene. Interestingly, the configuration of the photoproduct hexahelicene was determined by the direction of the magnetic field vector.

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