Why do meso compounds not have enantiomers?

1 Answer
Nov 15, 2015

See explanation.


A meso compound is a molecule that contains two stereogenic centres with a plane of symmetry.
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A meso compound is not a chiral molecule because it is superimposable to its mirror image.
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Enantiomers by definition are one chiral molecule and its mirror image. The chiral molecule and its mirror image are not superimposable and therefore, they are two different molecules, however, a meso compound and its mirror image are the same and therefore, they cannot be enantiomers.

#color(grey)("Images Source: Organic Chemistry-Janice Gorzynski Smith 3rd Ed.")#