By J. P. Sauvage, Christiane Dietrich-Buchecker
This trip throughout the interesting global of molecular topology specializes in catenanes, rotaxanes and knots, their synthesis, homes, and functions and the idea of interlocking and interpenetrating molecules. approximately 100 years of development have handed due to the fact that Willstatter's speculative imaginative and prescient of a molecule which includes interlinked earrings. yet even this day the synthesis of such constructions are a problem to the creativity of man-made chemists. those molecules usually are not simply of educational curiosity, because they take place certainly. In such molecules as DNA, knots and comparable topological beneficial properties play a key function in biochemical methods. additionally, wide learn at the houses of polyrotaxanes and polycatenanes convey strength purposes as molecular magnets, wires or switches. Twelve foreign prime specialists within the box current the vast and ambitious spectrum of the topology of those molecules, from theoretical elements and new pathways in synthesis to probing their houses. All researchers operating during this interdisciplinary zone, even if natural, inorganic or polymer chemists, in addition to fabric scientists, will welcome this entire and updated paintings as an inspiring resource for artistic learn rules.
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Extra info for Catenanes, Rotaxanes, and Knots
B. Conant, then professor of organic chemistry, soon to become Harvard’s president, was impressed by a German report that the freezing point depression of proteins dissolved in phenol was unexpectedly large, corresponding to molecular weights of only a few hundred. This suggested that proteins might be colloidal aggregates of intrinsically small molecules, phenol breaking up the larger particles normally seen in aqueous solution. Cohn felt that such a heretical idea needed to be challenged: Cohn and Conant worked on the problem together  and showed that the German result was an artefact, arising from failure to maintain constant thermodynamic water activity.
He was an American and a member of the National Academy, but he was not born in America, nor was his great scientific work done in America. It was done in Switzerland, the country of the cuckoo clock (in the famous words of Orson Welles). The statue’s presence here proclaims our faith in all of science, our regard for it as a beacon to guide the future. We can all see the statue now, just a few steps from the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington monument, the Vietnam Veterans’ memorial, the statue of John Paul Jones.
It is likely that my struggles in working things out for myself (usually going back to original literature) contributed to the book’s ultimate readability, making it easier for the reader to appreciate the fundamentals from the standpoint of someone approaching the subject for the first time. The book almost did not come to be published, at least by John Wiley and Sons, the presumptive publisher during the years of writing; I have told that story in an earlier article . G. Kirkwood, one of the foremost theoretical physical chemists of the day.