Within a lecture on biological resolution, the synthesis of single
enantiomers, and the naming and 3D visualization of omeprazole,
Professor Laurence Barron of the University of Glasgow delivers a guest
lecture on the subject of how chiral molecules rotate polarized light.
Mixing wave functions by coordinated application of light's
perpendicular electric and magnetic fields shifts electrons along a
helix that can be right- or left-handed, but so many mixings are
involved, and their magnitudes are so subtle, that predicting net
optical rotation in practical cases is rarely simple.