Research on Chemical Intermediates

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 137–143 | Cite as

The structural theory and physical organic chemistry

  • S. Chandrasekhar
Article

Abstract

Woolley's revolutionary proposal that quantum mechanics does not sanction the concept of “molecular structure”—which is but only a “metaphor”—has fundamental implications for physical organic chemistry. On the one hand, the Uncertainty Principle limits the precision with which transition state structures may be defined; on the other, extension of the structure concept to the transition state may be unviable. Attempts to define transition states have indeed caused controversy. Consequences for molecular recognition, and a mechanistic classification, are also discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Chandrasekhar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organic ChemistryIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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