Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1992, 57, 232-240

Geodesic Formulation of the Least Motion Principle in Chemical Reactivity

Martin Strnad and Robert Ponec

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 162 05 Prague 6-Suchdol


In this study an attempt is presented at the quantitative formulation of the old intuitive criterion for the characterization of chemical reactivity known as the principle of the least motion. The proposed formulation originates from the abstract mathematical model, within the framework of which the criterion of minimal structural changes is realized by the requirement of minimal changes of the state vectors in the Hilbert space of electron states. The presented approach is demonstrated on the practical example of pericyclic reactions for which its results correctly reproduce the conclusions of Woodward-Hoffmann rules.