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Conformations of ethane

  1. Oct 23, 2015 #1
    Considering a Ethane molecule, it can have infinite confirmations but my question is in this molecule only one carbon atom rotate or both of them rotate? Please specify and give reason.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2015 #2

    jbriggs444

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    Are you talking about rotational degrees of freedom where the rotation of the molecule in each of two directions picks up part of the molecule's total thermal energy?
     
  4. Oct 23, 2015 #3
    I don't know about these conformations in detail. Just want to know that both molecules of CH3- rotate or one of the molecule rotates.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2015 #4

    BvU

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    The word is conformations and the angle is the angle one carbon rotates over with respect to the other. So it's a relative angle.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2015 #5
    Basically you want to say that one carbon atom rotates?
     
  7. Oct 23, 2015 #6

    BvU

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    Yes, the other then does not.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2015 #7
    Look at it this way. Rotation is relative right? So if from "outside ", one carbon seems to be rotating then if I change my reference frame to the rotating carbon then the other carbon seems to be rotating!
    In short, yeah only one carbon rotates.

    Your question would become fairly more significant if we were drawing conformers of a compound which had two adjacent chiral carbons, but let's not go there unless you want to ;)
     
  9. Oct 24, 2015 #8
    Yeah. My teacher told me the same thing that basically two of them rotates but we consider one of them
     
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