Circular Birefringence and Circular Dichroism Simulation©
Zachary Brown
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
United States
mail to: browzz27@uwgb.edu

Ronald Starkey
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
United States

Optical activity is an essential component of undergraduate chemistry, yet its origins are rarely explored. In this Mathcad document the fundamental principles of circular dichroism and circular birefringence are examined, including interactive graphs which permit the user to alter the phase difference or absorption between the circular components to simulate both phenomena. Advanced graphing and matrix manipulation are also used to show both the 2D and 3D perspectives, as well as instructions on how to create animations which can be used by various media players. This document requires little prerequisite knowledge of Mathcad and can be used by an undergraduate audience in either an instrumental or physical chemistry, or the animations could be used as a visual aid to accompany a lecture. The vidios, containing two animated graphs which were produced with the Mathcad document, show both two and three dimensional perspectives that can be played on most conventional media players. One file displays circular birefringence (CB) while the other is displays circular dichroism (CD).
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Analytical Chemistry, Laboratory Instruction, Physical Chemistry
Topics: Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Spectroscopy
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
CB_CD_jchemed.mcd JCE Computational Document Mathcad
CB_CD_jchemed.pdf Read-Only Document
videos.zip JCE
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Brown, Z.; Starkey, R. J. Chem. Educ. 2005 82 1100.
Comments to: browzz27@uwgb.edu
©Copyright 2002 Journal of Chemical Education