Download Adobe Reader
CHEM 116
Home » People » John Oakes » CHEM 116 » Optical Isomers
Print

Optical Isomers

Def:

    Optical isomers differ by their 3-dimensional arrangement around a tetrahedral carbon.

Def:

    chiral molecule is one which is not superimposable on its mirror image.

Fact #1:  Molecules with at least one carbon with four different substituents will be chiral.

Fact #2:  Therefore, molecules with at least one carbon with four different substituents will have optical isomers.

Fact #3:  Chiral compounds rotate polarized light.   

Fact #4:  This is a really big deal in biochemistry!!

Def:   Two molecules which are non-superimposable mirror images of one another are enantiomers.

Def:   Optical isomers which are not mirror images (enanatiomers) are diastereomers.

Last Updated: 11/17/2014
  • GCCCD
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District