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Strain energy

For strain energy of structures, see Energy principles in structural mechanics.

In a molecule, strain energy is released when the constituent atoms are allowed to rearrange themselves in a chemical reaction or a change of chemical conformation in a way that:

are reduced [1] .

For example, the heat of combustion of cyclopropane (696 kJ/mol) is higher than that of propane (657 kJ/mol) per methylene unit.

Compounds with unusually large strain energy include tetrahedranes, propellanes, cubanes, fenestranes and cyclophanes.


  1. ^ March's Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure Michael B. Smith, Jerry March Wiley-Interscience, 5th edition, 2001, ISBN 0-471-58589-0
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Strain_energy". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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