Chirality (chemistry)

Chirality (chemistry)

A chiral molecule /ˈkaɪərəl/ is a type of molecule that has a non-superposable mirror image. The feature that is most often the cause of chirality in molecules is the presence of an asymmetric carbon atom.

The term chiral in general is used to describe an object that is not superposable on its mirror image. Achiral (not chiral) objects are objects that are identical to their mirror image. Human hands are perhaps the most universally recognized example of chirality: The left hand is a non-superposable mirror image of the right hand; no matter how the two hands are oriented, it is impossible for all the major features of both hands to coincide. This difference in symmetry becomes obvious if someone attempts to shake the right hand of a person using his left hand, or if a left-handed glove is placed on a right hand. The term chirality is derived from the Greek word for hand, χειρ (kheir). It is a mathematical approach to the concept of "handedness".

In chemistry, chirality usually refers to molecules. Two mirror images of a chiral molecule are called enantiomers or optical isomers. Pairs of enantiomers are often designated as "right-" and "left-handed".

Molecular chirality is of interest because of its application to stereochemistry in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, and supramolecular chemistry.

Read more about Chirality (chemistry):  History, Symmetry, Nomenclature, Stereogenic Centers, Properties of Enantiomers, In Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Chirality of Compounds With A Stereogenic "lone Pair"

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Chirality (chemistry) - Chirality of Compounds With A Stereogenic "lone Pair"
... When a nonbonding pair of electrons, a lone pair, occupies space, chirality can result ... The effect is pervasive in certain amines, phosphines, sulfonium and oxonium ions, sulfoxides, and even carbanions ...