×

# How many optical isomers does glucose have?

Dec 24, 2016

There are 16 optical isomers of glucose.

#### Explanation:

The structure of glucose is

We see that carbon atoms 2, 3, 4, and 5 are chiral centres.

The maximum number of optical isomers is ${2}^{n}$, where $n$ is the number of chiral centres.

In glucose, $n = 4$, so ${2}^{4}$ = 16 possible isomers.

Here are their structures.

The names of the above aldohexoses are:

$\text{D-allose | D-altrose | D-glucose | D-mannose}$
$\text{D-gulose | D-idose | D-galactose | D-talose}$
$\text{L-allose | L-altrose | L-glucose | L-mannose}$
$\text{L-gulose | L-idose | L-galactose | L-talose}$