Guide to Stereochemistry Terms

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Chiral

A molecule is chiral if it is not
superposable on its mirror image.


Achiral

A molecule is achiral if it is
superposable on its mirror image.


Meso

A molecule is meso if it is achiral and contains two or more stereocenters.


Enantiomers

Stereoisomers that are non-superposable mirror images.


Diastereomers

Stereoisomers that are non-superposable, but are not mirror images.


Constitutional Isomers

Isomers which contain atoms that differ in connectivity.


Non-isomers

Compounds that do not have the same molecular formula.


Superposable

A term that describes the ability to precisely overlap one object over another. Only identical objects are superposable, everything else is non-superposable.


Stereoisomers

Isomers which have atoms that differ only by their orientation in space. Unlike constitutional isomers, corresponding atoms in stereoisomers exhibit the same connectivity.


Isomers

Compounds that have the same molecular formula.


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