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Homework Help: Sp^y orbitals and nature of bonds

  1. Nov 18, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    1,2-difluoroethylene has two isomers, cis and trans, and they do not interconvert readily.
    However, cis and trans isomers of (C6H5)HC=CH(C6H5) do interconvert (but slowly). How is the
    intermediate required for that interconversion stabilized by the phenyl groups?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think it has something to do with the fact that when a single electron is "delocalized" throughout a large π system consisting of alternating C-C and C=C bonds, it leads to lower energy species... but I still don't get it. What is meant by intermediate? (My professor never really went over this part.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Gold Member

    If you could convert the double bond to a single bond, you could get rotation about the bond before the double bond reforms. How might you accomplish it?
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