How can I recognize "S"_N1 reactions?

Sep 1, 2017

Loss of optical activity......?

Explanation:

Preference for polar solvents.........?

Of course, when we use the term ${S}_{N} 1$ we refer to an arbitrary mechanism whose rate determining step is BOND-BREAKING, and presumed to occur thru the intermediacy of a three-membered carbocation.....i.e.

${R}_{1} {R}_{2} {R}_{3} C X + N a O H \rightarrow {R}_{1} {R}_{2} {R}_{3} {C}^{+} + {X}^{-}$

The hypothetical ${R}_{1} {R}_{2} {R}_{3} {C}^{+}$ unit cannot support optical activity, and a homochiral halide should lead to a racemate on substitution.