Optical rotation occurs when carbon atom is surrounded by different groups. But how does that affect the direction of light? And why does it happen only for plane polarised light?
My thought - if carbon atom is surrounded by different groups the there is a partial +ve or -ve charge on the carbon atom due to difference in electronegativity between the groups and carbon atom (net dipole moment) which creates an electric field. The resultant vector of the electric field and the field of the electromagnetic wave causes change in direction of light. But even if only 2 groups are different optical rotation should occur.
Can some one explain what really happens?