Such isomerism, named stereoisomerism (q.v.),hasbeen assiduously developed during recentyears; it prevails among many different classes of organic compounds and many examples have been found in inorganic chemistry.
The general principles of stereochemistry being discussed in Stereoisomerism (q.v.), we proceed to the synthesis of glucose and fructose and then to the derivation of their configurations.
The plane projection of molecular structures which differ stereochemically is discussed under Stereoisomerism; in this place it suffices to say that, since the terminal groups of the hexaldose molecule are different and four asymmetric carbon atoms are present, sixteen hexaldoses are possible; and for the hexahydric alcohols which they yield on reduction, and the tetrahydric dicarboxylic acids which they give on oxidation, only ten forms are possible.
The constitution of these inorganic isomers is still somewhat questionable; and in addition it seems that polymerism, metamerism and stereoisomerism play a part here, but the general feature is that cobalt and platinum act in them with high valency, probably exceeding four.
Ruff effects the same change by oxidizing the sugar to the oxy-acid, ' See Fermentation; and for the relation of this property to structure see Stereoisomerism.