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Topic Review on "Title":

Basic Concepts
Isomers have the same molecular formula.  Constitutional isomers have different arrangements of the atoms.  Stereoisomers are molecules with the same atoms and connectivity, but different spatial arrangement.  Stereochemistry is the study of how atoms in a molecule are arranged in space. 

Chiral and Achiral
A chiral object is not superimposable on its mirror image.  Objects that are superimposible on their mirror images are called achiral objects.  The achiral objects contain at least one plane of symmetry.  Carbons with four different groups attached are chiral carbons.  They are not superimposible on their mirror images.   Chiral molecules contain one or more chiral centers.

A molecule and its mirror image are called enantiomers.  They contain chiral carbons and are not superimposable.

Optical Activity
When plane-polarized light is passed through a solution containing one enantiomer, it is rotated to a certain degree.  A dextrorotatory (+) enantiomer gives a positive optical rotation.  A levorotatory (-) enantiomer gives a negative optical rotation

R and S
R and S configurations can be assigned to chiral centers.  R is rictus meaning clockwise and S is sinister meaning counterclockwise.  Enantiomers are assigned either R or S based on the spatial arrangement of the groups on the stereogenic carbon.  If one enantiomer is R, it=s mirror image will be S.  The method of naming R and S involves determining the priority of the groups bound to carbon.  Priority is assigned to the different groups on carbon.  The higher atomic mass/number has the higher priority.  More branching (i.e. iPr vs. Pr) is a higher priority.  Orient the molecule so that the lowest priority group is facing away from you.  Rotate molecule so priority 4 group is in back.  Trace from priority 1 group through 2 to 3.  If it is clockwise, assign R configuration.  If counterclockwise, assign S. 

Molecules with more than one stereocenter give rise to non-enantiomers called diastereomers.  Diastereomers are non-mirror image stereoisomers.  n chiral centers give rise to 2n sets of stereoisomers. 

Fischer Projections
In Fischer projections, horizontal bonds are in front of the plane and vertical bonds are behind the plane.

Meso Compounds
Meso molecules have more than one stereogenic or chiral center and are achiral (they give a superimposable mirror image).  Meso compounds can be recognized by containing a mirror plane of symmetry and each chiral center is the mirror image of the other.

Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
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"Title" Tutorial Summary :
The basic concepts of stereochemistry include definitions of isomers, constitutional isomers, and stereoisomers.  Isomers have the same molecular formula.  Constitutional isomers have the same formula and different connectivity.  Stereoisomers have the same formula and the same connectivity.  Chirality and achirality are defined.   A chiral carbon has four different groups attached to the carbon.  Enantiomers have chiral carbons and are mirror images of each other.  Diastereomers have more than one chiral carbon and are not mirror images of each other.  A meso compound has chiral carbons and a plane of symmetry.  A chiral compound rotates the plane of polarized light and has optical activity.  R and S is assigned to chiral centers.  The ranking is done by atomic weights.  If the decreasing ranking is clockwise, the assignment is R. If the decreasing ranking is counterclockwise, the assignment is S.

Tutorial Features:

This tutorial provides the comprehensive coverage of the chapter with easy introduction and simple illustration. It features:

  • Concept map showing interconnections of new concepts in this tutorial and those previously introduced.
  • Definition slides introduce terms as they are needed.
  • Visual representation of concepts.
  • Use of colors to emphasize points.
  • Compare and contrast structures.
  • Simple everyday examples for the stereochemistry concepts.
  • Examples worked out step-by-step throughout the tutorial.
  • A concise summary is given at the conclusion of the tutorial.

"Title" Topic List:

Basic Concepts

  • Isomers
  • Constitutional Isomers
  • Stereoisomers

Chiral and Achiral


  • Enantiomers
  • Diastereomers
  • Meso Compounds

Optical Activity

R and S Nomenclature

Fischer Projections

See all 24 lessons in college chemistry, including concept tutorials, problem drills and cheat sheets:
Teach Yourself Organic Chemistry Visually in 24 Hours

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