My PI showed a Ramachandran plot in class today with minimal explanation, but I'm interested in finding out more. I understand that the Ramachandran plot shows the relation between the omega phi and psi angleson either side of an amino acid alpha-carbon, but there are a few further points I'm confused about:
a.) What do these angles describe? Are they just dihedral angles that show translation around the bond-axis?
b.) Why are these angles important beyond the scope of identifying a secondary structure? Can they be used instead to identify the amino acid components, or only higher level structural units?
c.) What kind of instrument is used to collect the data and how are angles on either side of a single alpha-carbon correlated?