By J.G. Dawber

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The enhanced stability is due to resonance and the amount of energy by which the system is lower than that of the corresponding non-resonance system is the resonance energy. Resonance occurs in systems like buta-1,3-diene where double and single bonds alternate. Such a system is known as a conjugate system, and is explained by assuming that the n: electrons are delocalized over the whole molecule and not restricted to regions between two carbon atoms (Fig. 22). ~ Fig. 22 Delocalization of :n electrons in buta-1,3-diene Resonance can be present in quite simple molecules.

In this type H H I I I I H H I I H-C-0-C-H H-C-C-OH I H H I H H X IX of isomerism, the two isomers have completely different properties, and are very easily separated and identified. A more important example of this is found among the carbonyl compounds, aldehydes and ketones. Thus propionaldehyde (XI) and acetone (XII) are isomers having molecular formula C 3 H 6 0. _ I H H H XI I I H H XII The same situation arises in carbohydrates where, for example, glucose, an a/dehydo-sugar, and fructose, a keto-sugar, have the same molecular formula, C 6 H 12 0 6 .

I) Alpha radiation (ex) Alpha radiation consists of particles containing two protons and two neutrons, that is helium nuclei (He2+). The energies of a particles are usually in the region 1-10 MeV depending on the particular radionuclide from which they originate. They have rather limited penetrating power (about 35 mm in air) and they would usually be absorbed by a sheet of paper. The reason for the limited penetrating power, in spite of their high energy, is their relatively high mass. As a particles pass through air they produce ionization of the air.

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