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Newman Projections

Article ID: 51
Last updated: 25 Jan, 2013
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Check out this interactive stereochemistry tutorial on the ChemEdDL
Newman projections are simply another way to draw organic molecules that specifically helps in visualizing conformational isomers.  These projections are drawn by looking directly along a particular bond in the system (here a C-C bond) and arranging the substituents symmetrically around the atoms at each end of that bond. The protocol requires that the atoms within the central bond is defined as shown below:
In order to draw a Newman projection from a wedge-dash diagram, it is useful to imagine putting your "eye" in line with the central bond in order to look along it. Let's work through an example, consider drawing a Newman projection by looking at the following wedge-dash diagram of propane from the left hand side.
  • First draw the dot and circle to represent the front and back C respectively
  • Since the front carbon atom has an H atom in the plane of the page pointing up we can add that first
  • The back carbon atom has an H atom in the plane of the page pointing down
  • Now add the other bonds to each C so that it is symmetrical
  • The groups / bonds (blue) that were forward of the plane of the page in the original wedge-dash diagram are now to our right
  • Those behind (green) the plane are now to our left
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Organic Chemistry -> Introduction to Organic Compounds and Reactions -> Drawing Organic Compounds
Organic Chemistry -> Stereochemistry -> Ways to Draw 3D Structures in 2D

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Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology