The field of optical rotations is currently undergoing a renaissance, which is a direct result of the advances in quantum mechanics and the availability of faster desktop computers. In the last few years, the field of optical rotations has taken an important role for determining the three-dimensional molecular structure (absolute configuration and conformations) with confidence. The purpose of this review is to present the latest advances in this area so that practicing chemists can utilize them in their respective areas of research and development. Chirality 14:768–781, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.