What makes a compound optically active?

What makes a compound optically active?


1 Answers

sumit kumar
askIITians Faculty 13 Points
9 years ago
Optically active compound is that compound which rotates the palne polarised light in either left or right direction. For a compound to be optically acitive it must contain a chiral carbon center.
Chiral centre is an atom in the molecule which is bonded with four different groups or atoms.
Somtimes it is found that some molecules which despite of haviing chiral carbon or center, do not show optical activity. This happens in case of meso compounds.
Meso compounds are the compounds with more than one chiral carbon and a plane of symmetry. One part of such compound rotates the light in left direction while the other part of the same compound rotates it in right direction. In this way te net rotation is zero and there is no net optical activity in compound. Example: Meso tartaric acid
Thanks & Regards
Sumit Kumar
askIIITians Faculty

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