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When Topology Meets Chemistry
A Topological Look at Molecular Chirality

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  • Date Published: July 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521664820

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  • The applications of topological techniques for understanding molecular structures have become increasingly important over the past thirty years. In this topology text, the reader will learn about knot theory, 3-dimensional manifolds, and the topology of embedded graphs, while learning the role these play in understanding molecular structures. Most of the results that are described in the text are motivated by questions asked by chemists or molecular biologists, though the results themselves often go beyond answering the original question asked. There is no specific mathematical or chemical prerequisite; all the relevant background is provided. The text is enhanced by nearly 200 illustrations and more than 100 exercises. Reading this fascinating book, undergraduate mathematics students can escape the world of pure abstract theory and enter that of real molecules, while chemists and biologists will find simple, clear but rigorous definitions of mathematical concepts they handle intuitively in their work.

    • Throughout the text, the topology is motivated by its chemical applications
    • Well-written, combining mathematical rigor with intuitive explanations
    • All necessary background is provided
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'If you are a chemist … looking for applications of low dimensional topology in the natural sciences, this is a book you should own … serves as an excellent introduction to the field for a topologist looking for interesting applications of topology in science. The book is well produced with many useful diagrams and with exercises that range from easy to intriguing. This book is definitely on my 'buy list'.' Stuart Whittington, SIAM Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521664820
    • length: 256 pages
    • copublisher: The Mathematical Association of America
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 180 b/w illus. 100 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Stereochemical topology
    2. Detecting chirality
    3. Chiral moebius ladders and related molecular graphs
    4. Different types of chirality and achirality
    5. Embeddings of complete graphs in 3-space
    6. Rigid and non-rigid symmetries of graphs in 3-space
    7. Topology of DNA.

  • Author

    Erica Flapan, Pomona College, California

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