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Depending on the reagent, and orientation of collisions within a chemical reaction, organic molecules can be present as different constitutional isomers of the same molecule. We can analyze the likelihood of getting a mixture of pentane with certain conformers. Based on this, we find that there are 16 potential conformers, but 13 are identical structures, meaning only three are distinct from each other. Using the product rule, we then demonstrate how to go about calculating the probability of specific conformers, including specific identical structures, being present in a mixture, and then we demonstrate that process is strictly within the three different conformers.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics

Matthew Saunders, Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

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Catherine Boshra, Chemistry