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The **Karplus equation**, named after Martin Karplus, describes the correlation between ^{3}J-coupling constants and dihedral torsion angles in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy:^{[1]}

where *J* is the ^{3}*J* coupling constant, is the dihedral angle, and *A*, *B*, and *C* are empirically-derived parameters whose values depend on the atoms and substituents involved.^{[2]} The relationship may be expressed in a variety of equivalent ways e.g. involving cos 2 φ rather than cos^{2}φ —these lead to different numerical values of *A*, *B*, and *C* but do not change the nature of the relationship.

The relationship is used for ^{3}*J*_{H,H} coupling constants. The superscript "3" indicates that a ^{1}H atom is coupled to another ^{1}H atom three bonds away, via H-C-C-H bonds. (Such hydrogens bonded to neighbouring carbon atoms are termed vicinal).^{[3]} The magnitude of these couplings are generally smallest when the torsion angle is close to 90° and largest at angles of 0 and 180°.

This relationship between local geometry and coupling constant is of great value throughout nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and is particularly valuable for determining back bone torsion angles in protein NMR studies.

## ReferencesEdit

- ↑ Dalton, Louisa (2003-12-22). "Karplus Equation".
*Chemical & Engineering News***81**(51): 37. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/8151/8151karplus.html. - ↑ Karplus, Martin (1959). "Contact Electron-Spin Coupling of Nuclear Magnetic Moments".
*J. Chem. Phys.***30**(1): 11–15. doi:10.1063/1.1729860. - ↑ Karplus, Martin (1963). "Vicinal Proton Coupling in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance".
*J. Am. Chem. Soc.***85**(18): 2870–2871. doi:10.1021/ja00901a059.