ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LANEY COLLEGE CHEM 12A Chapter 5 Learning Objectives and Terminology Chiral chemical compounds can occur as mirror images known as enantiomers . A chiral compound has “ handedness .” (e.g. right and left hands) Organic compounds can contain asymmetric , tetrahedral carbon atoms that can lead to an asymmetric and hence chiral compound. Asymmetric carbons are also called stereogenic carbons, or stereocenters . Some chemical compounds (or conformations thereof) contain symmetry – as identified by the presence of symmetry elements known as mirror planes ( σ ) or points of inversion ( i ) – and are therefore not chiral, which is called being achiral Identify asymmetric carbons by noting 4 different groups attached, as specified by the sequence rules (Cahn-Ingold-Prelog, the CIP rules). This leads to the configuration for an asymmetric carbon as either R ( rectus ) or S ( sinister ) Chiral compounds are optical active : they can rotate plane-polarized light . The rotation is either to the right
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