what is the meaning of optically active compounds?
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there is a fundamental difference between a pair of hands that can be observed by trying to place your right hand into a left-hand glove. Your hands have two important properties: (1) each hand is the mirror image of the other, and (2) these mirror images are not superimposable. The mirror image of the left hand looks like the right hand, and vice versa, as shown in the figure below.(SEE THE NEXT POST)
Objects that possess a similar handedness are said to be chiral (literally, "handed"). Those that do not are said to be achiral. Gloves are chiral. (It is difficult, if not impossible, to place a right-hand glove on your left hand or a left-hand glove on your right hand.) Mittens, however, are often achiral. (Either mitten can fit on either hand.) Feet and shoes are both chiral, but socks are not.
This is called optical activity.
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This is called optical activity because chiral molecules deviate the plane of polarized light traveling across them (thus the "optical")
*When a plane polarised light (ppl) fall on a molecule , if it rotate the molecule in clock wise are anti clock wise rotation than it is called optically active compounds.
* An optically active compound should be a) chiral carbon or Asymmetric carbon b) Non Superimpossable c) Enantiomers