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)


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.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Jeffrey I. Seeman; (2022)
History of the Woodward‐Hoffmann Rules. The No‐Mechanism Puzzle** (/isis/citation/CBB217999213/)

Chapter Andrew Streitwieser; (2015)
Hydrogen Isotopes in Physical Organic Chemistry (/isis/citation/CBB214171595/)

Article Mulheirn, Greg; (2000)
Robinson, Woodward and the synthesis of cholesterol (/isis/citation/CBB000110090/)

Chapter Sibum, H. Otto; (2003)
Narrating by Numbers: Keeping an Account of Early 19th-Century Laboratory Experiences (/isis/citation/CBB000330785/)

Article Mary Virginia Orna; (2022)
Archaeological Chemistry: Past, Present, Future (/isis/citation/CBB532695309/)

Article Giunta, Carmen J.; (2007)
Looking Ahead: Keeping History of Chemistry Relevant to the Future of Chemistry (1) (/isis/citation/CBB000831526/)

Article Bosnich, B.; (2011)
Alan McLeod Sargeson, 1930--2008 (/isis/citation/CBB001220652/)

Chapter Ronald M. Magid; Maitland Jones; (2015)
Lost in the Funhouse. Life in the Research Laboratory of William von Eggers Doering (/isis/citation/CBB569245856/)

Article Louis J. Lanzerotti; (2019)
Space Research and Space Weather: Some Personal Vignettes 1965 to Early 1980s (/isis/citation/CBB453020639/)

Chapter Webster, Frank; (2005)
Research, Universities and the Knowledge Society (/isis/citation/CBB001000222/)

Article Stephen M. Davies; (2019)
Rothschild Reversed: Explaining the Exceptionalism of Biomedical Research, 1971–1981 (/isis/citation/CBB964513170/)

Article Jennifer Dusdal; Justin J. W. Powell; David P. Baker; Yuan Chih Fu; Yahya Shamekhi; Manfred Stock; (2020)
University vs. Research Institute? The Dual Pillars of German Science Production, 1950–2010 (/isis/citation/CBB533528425/)

Book Muñoz Muñoz, Ana M.; (2006)
Presencia y producción científica de las profesoras de la Universidad de Granada (1975--1990) (/isis/citation/CBB001022353/)

Book Epstein, Steven G.; (2007)
Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research (/isis/citation/CBB000950680/)

Authors & Contributors
Seeman, Jeffrey I.
Mulheirn, Greg
Sibum, H. Otto
Giunta, Carmen J.
Epstein, Steven G.
Webster, Frank
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
American Chemical Society
University of Chicago Press
Universidad de Granada
Madrid OEI, Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura
Organic chemistry
Societies; institutions; academies
Science education and teaching
Universities and colleges
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
American Chemical Society
Center for the History of Chemistry
Medical Research Council (Great Britain)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment