Article ID: CBB013818274

Woodward-Hoffmann's Stereochemistry of Electrocyclic Reactions: From Day 1 to the JACS Receipt Date (May 5, 1964 to November 30, 1964) (2015)

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The publication in January 1965 of the first Woodward-Hoffmann paper, The Stereochemistry of Electrocyclic Reactions, ushered into organic chemistry both an explanation of the stereochemistry and "allowedness" or "forbiddenness" of concerted reactions and an impetus for untold numbers of research projects. In the current paper, details of the collaboration between R. B. Woodward and R. Hoffmann, from when they first met to discuss the solution to the "no-mechanism problem" to the date their first paper was received in the offices of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, will be discussed and analyzed. The primary focus will be on the historically relevant extant documents from the early 1960s. These include Hoffmann's laboratory notebooks describing his research, including his extended Hückel calculations used to explain and predict the stereochemistry of electrocyclic reactions. Drafts of the Stereochemistry of Electrocyclic Reactions paper and letters and notes by Woodward, Jerome Berson, and others will further illuminate the development of this first Woodward-Hoffmann paper.

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Authors & Contributors
Seeman, Jeffrey I.
Mulheirn, Greg
Sibum, H. Otto
Giunta, Carmen J.
Epstein, Steven G.
Webster, Frank
Journals
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Historical Records of Australian Science
Research in the History of Technology
The Chemical Record
Journal of Geophysical Research
Publishers
American Chemical Society
University of Chicago Press
Universidad de Granada
Madrid OEI, Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura
Concepts
Research
Organic chemistry
Societies; institutions; academies
Science education and teaching
Universities and colleges
Stereochemistry
People
Woodward, Robert Burns
Hoffmann, Roald
Robinson, Robert
Joule, James Prescott
Sargeson, Alan McLeod
Ingold, Christopher
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
Places
England
Spain
Australia
Ukraine
Germany
Uganda
Institutions
American Chemical Society
Center for the History of Chemistry
Medical Research Council (Great Britain)
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