Probably one of the most useful tools for discussing conformation (a subject we have touched on) is the Newman Projection. This is representation of a view looking along the bond of a molecule of interest. For example, the following diagram is a Newman Projection of the staggered form of ethane:
|The circle represents the nearest carbon atom, and the bonds to the hydrogen atoms nearest us are drawn to meet in the centre, whereas those to the carbon atom at the rear are drawn to the edge of the circle.|
Another way of visualising the Newman Projection is to imagine looking along the arrow in the diagram below:
We shall use the Newman Projection extensively in the following sections.