NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1014563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Computational Modeling of the Optical Rotation of Amino Acids: An "in Silico" Experiment for Physical Chemistry
Simpson, Scott; Autschbach, Jochen; Zurek, Eva
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n5 p656-660 May 2013
A computational experiment that investigates the optical activity of the amino acid valine has been developed for an upper-level undergraduate physical chemistry laboratory course. Hybrid density functional theory calculations were carried out for valine to confirm the rule that adding a strong acid to a solution of an amino acid in the l configuration renders the optical rotation more positive. Correspondingly, if the optical rotation becomes more negative, the amino acid is of the "D" configuration. The students employed the open-source molecular editor Avogadro to build the molecules, conduct conformer searches, and calculate the energies of the conformers with a molecular mechanics force field. Subsequent geometry optimizations and optical rotation calculations were performed with a quantum chemistry program, using the WebMO graphical interface. The role of the solvent in stabilizing the zwitterionic form of an amino acid was investigated. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A