Goddu, Robert F. Fibers and Film Research Division, Hercules, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware.
Little, James N. Research Division, Waters Associates, Milford, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A method of chemical analysis based on the optical activity of the substance being determined. Optically active materials are asymmetric; that is, their molecules or crystals have no plane or center of symmetry. These asymmetric molecules can occur in either of two forms, d- and l-, called optical isomers. Asymmetric substances possess the power of rotating the plane of polarization of plane-polarized light. Measurement of the extent of this rotation is called polarimetry. Polarimetry is applied to both organic and inorganic materials. See also: Optical activity
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