Optical activity is the ability of a chiral molecule to rotate the plane of plane-polarised light, In the 19th century, the French physicist Jean Biot discovered an important factor in the stereochemistry of molecules.
During one of his research work, Biot investigation on the nature of flat polarize light and in his discovery the solutions of some organic compounds cause the rotation of polarize light. with this property they are optically active and a polarimeter can be useful to determine the amount and direction of rotation.
Plane polarized light
Amount and direction of rotation can be determine with a polarimeter
White light contains electromagnetic waves that oscillate in an infinite number of planes perpendicular to the direction of travel of the light. it’s ordinary white light that has passed through a polarizer. In addition a polarizer is a filter that blocks light waves in all but one plane. for instance Polaroid sunglasses that prevent glare from polarizing sunlight.
Therefore enantiomershave properties like physical ones that include boiling point, melting point,refractive index and density
However, Chemists working with chiral compounds find it difficult to experiment with enantiomers; However, enantiomers differ in one physical property, namely their ability to rotate plane-polarized light.
The light we see is typically unpolarized, in, it consists of waves evenly distributed in all directions.
however Planarized light passes unpolarized light through a polarizing filter that has light waves that show only orientation in one direction.
The optical rotation of a substance differs with the path of the length of the light and its concentration.
In conclusion, The proportionality constant [α] is the property of the chiral compound, which is characteristic of a certain compound with fixed wavelength and temperature.
Therefore The specific rotation of the connection is this constant. The constant is called the specific rotation of the connection. Chemists have compiled a large amount of specific rotation data under standard conditions.
The polarimetry technique is used to measure optical activity through a device called a polarimeter.
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