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    So I seem to have forgotten 98% of Chemistry over summer and I'm now a struggling undergrad.

    I am currently studying the structure and nature of amino acids. So, I know that at physiological pH amino acids exist as zwitterions.. with a proton being donated to the amino group from the carboxylic acid group.. but why? why does this internal transfer of proton occur?

    Is it something to do with being in an aqueous environment?

    And is there actually a transfer from the carboxylic acid to the amino group? or is it more accurate to say that the carboxylic acid donates a proton to the surrounding solution and the amino group accepts this proton from the surrounding solution?
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    (Original post by WhamBamJam.)
    And is there actually a transfer from the carboxylic acid to the amino group? or is it more accurate to say that the carboxylic acid donates a proton to the surrounding solution and the amino group accepts this proton from the surrounding solution?
    It depends. In alfa amino acids acidic proton is so close to the amino group, it can jump between both groups without problems. It is not necessarily so easy in case of other amino acids, when the distance is much larger.
 
 
 
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