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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 12 Issue 6 (2007) pp 409-410

A Review of Stereochemistry: An Exercise for the Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Suzanne Carpenter* and Richard Wallace

Department of Chemistry and Physics, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA 31419,
Received January 12, 2007. Accepted August 8, 2007.

Published online: 7 October 2007

Abstract. Stereochemistry and chirality are part of the canon of the sophomore organic chemistry sequence. Usually, in the first semester of the lecture sequence, students learn about enantiomers, diastereomers, polarimetry, optical activity, and meso compounds. The described exercise provides the students with an opportunity to actually collect rotation data for a variety of chiral compounds thus making more concrete the terms and relationships previously described in lecture. Additionally, students are required to use laboratory skills learned previously (solution preparation) as well as add to their growing repertoire of experience with analytical instruments (use of the polarimeter).

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; laboratory exercise; stereochemistry and polarimety; specific-chirality, optical isomers, diastereomers, enantiomers, meso

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (24 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Instructions for the students, including the procedure and worksheet, notes for the instructor, and sample data are available in a Zip file (91 KB).

Issue date: December 1, 2007

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