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Unformatted text preview: How to decide if a molecule is chiral or not chiral (achiral) Introduction: Chirality is a property of individual molecules. If a molecule is chiral then we know that the molecule has two enantiomeric forms (which are almost identical but are actually different molecules). I like to think of this as the 'evil twin' property. If a molecule is chiral then we know that it has an 'evil twin' (an enantiomer). If a molecule is not chiral (achiral) then it is unique and does not have an 'evil twin'. How to: There are three different common tests for chiralty. You can use which ever test is easiest to apply for a particular molecule. (Note: that they should all give the same answer for a particular molecule). Molecule 1 K. Shimizu Test 1: Draw the mirror image of the molecule and see if the two molecules are the same or different. If they are different, then the molecule is chiral. If they are the same, then it is not chiral. Test 2: If the molecule has only one chiral center, then the molecule is chiral. If the molecule has more than one chiral center, it is most likely chiral. The exceptions are meso-compounds, which have chiral centers but are not chiral due to the presence of a place of symmetry. Test 3: If a molecule has a plane of symmetry, then the molecule is not chiral (achiral)....
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- Spring '09