The Royal Society of Chemistry and the South African Chemical Institute present a Public Lecture in Chemistry by Professor Jan Boeyens, Extraordinary Professor, Unit for Advanced Scholarship, University of Pretoria.
His lecture is entitled The Mystery of Molecular Structure.
Abstract of lecture: The discovery of X-ray diffraction promised to resolve the mystery of molecular structure, but a hundred years on it is fast receding into the fourth dimension. The contemporary development of quantum mechanics performed no better. It introduced, without explanation the notion of non-commuting dynamic variables, described by complex functions, failed to account for electron spin or optical activity and still appears to be at odds with special relativity. The confusion starts with Maxwell's formulation of the electromagnetic field, interpreted differently in quantum and relativity theories, and grows with the chemical practice of reducing complex quantum functions to real classical variables. This leaves the nature of a single molecule's structure undefined - neither classical nor non-classical.
A radical new approach to the problem will be discussed.
The talk will be followed by food and refreshments in the School of Chemistry Foyer.