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Organic Chemistry: Introducton To Isomerism Essay

845 words - 4 pages

What are isomers?Isomers are molecules with the same molecular formula, but different arrangements of atoms. There are different types of isomers, they are-------------------------Structural Isomerism------------------------Structural isomerism occurs when two or more organic compounds have the same molecular formulae, but different structures. These differences tend to give the molecules different chemical and physical properties. There are three types of structural isomerism that you need to be aware of at school: chain isomerism, positional isomerism and functional isomerism. There is a fourth type, known as tautomerism (where there are two isomers are known as the keto and enol isomers) ...view middle of the document...

When a beam of light is passed through a certain type of filter, all of the waves except those in one plane are removed.One of the optical isomers rotates the light in one direction, the other rotates the light in the opposite direction but by the same amount. In every other way, such as boiling point, density, refractive index, viscosity, etc., the two optical isomers are identical.---------------------Optical isomerism---------------------What are these optical isomers? Optical isomers are mirror images that are not superimposable. Your hands, assuming that we do not examine them too closely for scratches and other imperfections, are nonsuperimposable mirror images. Imagine that you approach a mirror and raise your right hand in greeting so that you see the palm of your right hand in the mirror. What you see in the mirror is the mirror image of your right hand and it looks exactly like the palm of your left hand. So your left hand is a mirror image of your right hand. Now, try to superimpose your two hands by laying one atop the other with the palms facing in the same direction. Notice that no matter how you twist them, they cannot be oriented so that the right thumb is on top of the left thumb, the right little finger on top of the left little finger, etc.If you now perform the same...

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