This module discusses the conformations of n-alkanes.
It shows how different conformations can be obtained by rotating around
single carbon-carbon bonds, and how the potential energy varies with the
The examples end with butane, however: the last, extra link in the list below gives access to the Mol4D web editor, in which you can put this lesson into practice: add more substituents to ethane, calculate the potential energy profile and explain what you observe in this computational experiment!
The exercises of this module are available in two formats, one using
Java-applets for displaying molecules, the other one using the
Chemscape Chime plugin.
Only the latter is being maintained and developed though, and requires Netscape and Chime2 to work properly, if not to work at all!
New: Jmol Java