chirality


chirality
The property of nonidentity of an object with its mirror image; used in chemistry with respect to stereochemical isomers. [G. cheir, hand]

* * *

chi·ral·i·ty (ki-ralґĭ-te) [Gr. cheir hand] the property of handedness, of not being superimposable on a mirror image; the handedness of an asymmetric molecule, as specified by its optical rotation or absolute configuration. Cf. stereoisomerism.

Lactic acid, its tetracoordinate carbon atom bearing four different substituents, is not superimposable on its mirror image. Ethylene glycol, with two identical substituents on its tetracoordinate carbon, can be superimposed on its mirror image.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • chirality — noun see chiral * * * chirality /kī ralˈi ti/ noun 1. The property of a chemical, esp a crystal, of existing in left handed and right handed structural forms 2. The handedness of such a chemical ORIGIN: Gr cheir hand • • • chīˈral adjective …   Useful english dictionary

  • chirality — noun see chiral …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • chirality — noun /kaɪˈrælɪtiː/ The phenomenon, in chemistry, physics and mathematics, in which an object differs from its mirror image. Syn: handedness …   Wiktionary

  • chirality — chi·ral·i·ty …   English syllables

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