Researches on the Molecular Asymmetry of Natural Organic Products

Preface

The two lectures which compose this volume were published by the Chemical Society of Paris in a volume entitled “Leçons de Chimie professées en 1860” (Paris, 1861). They give in brief form an account of Pasteur’s brilliant investigations on optically active compounds, and are remarkable for three things; – The fact that they describe the only ways even now known of separating optical isomers: that they contain scarcely a statement which would be changed if they were to be written to-day: and that in the theoretical speculations as to the cause of the difference between optical isomers so close an approach is made to the theory of van’t Hoffand Le Bel (1874), that it seems incredible that many years elapsed before the final step was taken.

Two short paragraphs addressed especially to the Chemical Society of Paris and to its president, Dumas, have been omitted from the introduction.

The thanks of the Club are due to the Council of the Society for permission to publish this translation.

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