Chirality pp 86-102 | Cite as

Anomalous Dispersion of X-Rays and the Determination of the Handedness of Chiral Molecules

  • C. Kratky

Abstract

Most biological and many other molecules are chiral, i.e. they cannot be superimposed on their mirror image. The two mirror images of a chiral molecule are called enantiomers. Chiral molecules show the phenomenon of optical activity, i.e. a solution of one enantiomer rotates the plane of polarized light. A 1: 1 mixture of both enantiomers is called a racemate; racemates are not optically active, because the optical activities of the two antipodes cancel each other, since the two enantiomers rotate the plane of polarized light by the same amount, but in opposite directions.

Keywords

Sugar Carbohydrate Alanine Macromolecule Fluorine 

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • C. Kratky

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