Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Racemic Mixture

  • Jeffrey BadaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1329



A racemic mixture is a mixture containing equal amounts (50:50) of both enantiomers of a chiral chemical compound (e.g., of l- and d-alanine). By definition the enantiomeric excess of a racemic mixture is equal to zero. A racemic mixture will induce no rotation of the plane of polarization of polarized light. The term racemic should not be confused with the term achiral, which refers to compounds which are not chiral.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA