Theatrum Chemicum


Derek Harold Richard Barton (1918-1997)

In 1950 Barton published a 4-page paper in Experientia entitled "The Conformation of the Steroid Nucleus", in which he analyzed how molecular shape affects chemical behaviour. The paper was developed using cyclohexane ring conformations determined from electron diffraction studies by the Norwegian physical chemist Odd Hassel. Thus conformational analysis, which ever after changed the way organic chemists think about structure, synthesis and chemical reactivity, came into being. Barton and Hassel shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their seminal work.

[MSU Gallery of Chemists' Photo-Portraits and Mini-Biographies]

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