What distinguishes a chiral carbon centre?

2 Answers
Apr 9, 2017

A chiral compound cannot be superimposed upon its mirror image.


See here for an intro...

For the importance of chiral compounds see here. As to how chiral molecules are separated, see here.

Remember for carbon, typically a #CR_1R_2R_3R_4# stereoisomer CANNOT be superimposed upon its mirror image. The experiment to separate the stereoisomers is long, and protracted, and difficult.

Apr 11, 2017

All different bonds


If you are looking for an easy answer, this is it:

If a carbon has four different groups attached to it, it will be chiral.