Spectroscopy: Analysis of Structure

  • Peter R. Bergethon


We have constructed a view of biochemical state space based predominantly on the ideas of a limited set of mechanical motions and the existence of electrical charge. Using just these basic concepts, we have been able to develop useful descriptions of light and electromagnetic radiation and subsequently of atomic and molecular structure. These ideas are developed from the same core physical concepts. Therefore, it is not surprising that we will find a substantial interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter. A great deal of structural information can be gained by studying these interactions. In general we can explore the structure of biological molecules by focusing on either the wavelike nature or the quantum treatment of light. The first forms the basis of light-scattering (e.g., X-ray diffraction) experimental methods, and the second, the basis of spectroscopy. We take up spectroscopy next.


Excited State Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectral Line Triplet State Internuclear Distance 
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Further Reading


  1. Thomas N. C. (1991) The early history of spectroscopy. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 65–67.Google Scholar


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Fluorescent Spectroscopy

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Scattering Techniques for Evaluation of Macromolecules

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Raman Spectroscopy

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NMR Studies of Biological Application

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter R. Bergethon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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