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New Molecule With Switchable Chirality

mu_cow A Chiral compound is... (56 comments)

Simplistically a chiral compound is one which would appear different if viewed in a mirror. For example, your left hand cannot be imposed on top of your right hand as they are mirrors of each other. Your hands are chiral.

Biological molecules are (almost) always chiral and normally organisms can only cope with one version of a molecule and not its mirror.

Chiral molecules rotate plane polarised light. A molecule's mirror will rotate the light in the other direction. This is why they may have a use in "liquid crystal displays and non-linear optics".

more than 14 years ago


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