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vikash chandola Grade:

give me thwe proper defination of enantiomer and racemic mixture?

7 years ago

Answers : (2)

souvik das
33 Points

Enantiomers - Nonsuperposable mirror images, or chiral molecules which are mirror images.

criterion for enantiomerism : compound should be as a whole  asymmetric, i.e; it should not have any plane of symmetry or centre of symmetry.


Racemic mixture, racemic modification, or racemate - A mixture consisting of equal amounts
of enantiomers. A racemic mixture exhibits no optical activity because the activities of the
individual enantiomers are equal and opposite in value, therby canceling each other out.

7 years ago
879 Points

Dear vikash,

A solution in which both enantiomers of a compound are present in equal amounts is called a racemic mixture, or racemate. Racemic mixtures can be symbolized by a (d/l)- or ()- prefix in front of the substance's name. Since enantiomers have equal and opposite specific rotations, a racemic mixture exhibits no optical activity. Therefore it is impossible to tell a racemic mixture apart from an achiral substance using polarimetry alone. Note that the terms chiral and optically active should not be confused. It would be incorrect to say that a racemic mixture is achiral. Chirality is a property of individual molecules. Optical activity is a property of solutions. A racemic mixture consists of chiral molecules, but it has no net optical activity.


Molecules that are optical isomers, or mirror images, of one another. Enantiomers can be distinguished by the direction in which they rotate the plane of polarization of polarized light and are referred to, therefore, as being dextrorotatory (d-) or  laevorotatary (l-).


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Sagar Singh

B.Tech IIT Delhi

7 years ago
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