How many chiral centers in camphor

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Area of ‚Äč‚ÄčExpertise - Stereochemistry

Chiral, optically active substances consist of molecules that behave like an image and a mirror image and therefore cannot be made to coincide by rotating. To classify the chirality, the elements of chirality (center of chirality, axis of chirality (helix) and plane of chirality) have been defined, whereby a chiral molecule can contain several elements. A center of chirality is formed by an asymmetric, i.e. hybridized, tetrahedral carbon atom with four different substituents.

The absolute configuration for molecules with central chirality is determined according to the CIP rules introduced by R. Cahn, C. Ingold and V. Prelog, in which the ligands are ordered according to decreasing priority; Amino acids, sugar and other simple natural substances are also identified using the D and L symbols introduced by E. Fischer. Asymmetrical carbon atoms occur in proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and other compounds, i.e. almost all physiologically active substances are chiral. Chirality is observed not only in carbon but also in nitrogen, phosphorus, organometallic and even in inorganic compounds.

See also: asymmetric center, optical activity, stereoisomers, enantiomers

Learning units in which the term is dealt with

Chirality30 min.

biochemistryChemical basicsBasics of stereochemistry

This learning unit gives an introduction to the three-dimensional world of handedness of biomolecules.

Central chirality45 min.

biochemistryChemical basicsBasics of stereochemistry

An introductory and advanced learning unit with exercises on the stereochemistry of organic compounds.

Fischer projection30 min.

chemistryOrganic chemistryStereochemistry

Representation of chiral molecules and the naming of the absolute configuration with the help of the Fischer projection.