Kenneth Wiberg

Member of Yale faculty since 1962

Research Interests


Most of my current work deals with the relationship between structure, conformation and optical rotation. .Compounds of potential interest are prepared and converted to the chiral form via chemical resolution, kinetic resolution and related methods. The chiroptical properties are measured, and in collaboration with Prof. Vaccaro, the optical rotation is also determined in the gas phase. These experimental studies are supported by high level ab initio calculations.


B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1948
Ph.D. Columbia University, 1950


A. P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 1958
Guggenheim Fellow, 1961
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1967
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1968
Fellow, American Association of Arts and Sciences 1972
J. F. Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry, 1974
Cope Scholar, 1986
Arthur C. Cope Award, 1988
Pauling Meda, 1992

Recent Publications

K.B. Wiberg, Y.-G. Wang, S.M. Wilson, P.H. Vaccaro, & J.R. Cheeseman. Sum-over-states calculation of the specific rotation of some substituted oxiranes, chloropropionitrile, ethane and norbornenone. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2006, 110, 13995.

K.B. Wiberg, S.M. Wilson, P.H. Vaccaro & M. Luderer. Effect of substituents and conformations on the optical rotations of cyclic oxides and related compounds. Relationship between the anomeric effect and optical rotation. J. Org. Chem.2007, 72, 6206.

W.F. Bailey, J.M. Bobbitt & K.B. Wiberg. Mechanism of the oxidation of alcohols by oxoammonium cations. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 4504.

K.B. Wiberg, Y.-G. Wang, S.W. Wilson, P.H. Vaccaro, W.L. Jorgensen, T.D. Crawford & M. Luderer. Optical rotatory dispersion of 2,3-hexadiene and 2,3-pentadiene. J. Phys. Chem. A. 2008, 112, 2415.

S.M. Wilson, K.B. Wiberg, M.J. Murphy & P.H. Vaccaro. Effect of conformation and solvation on optical activity. Substituted epoxides. CHIRALITY 2008, 20, 357.