Organic Chemistry :: Optical Isomerism
Side Note :: Isomers are two molecules that have the same atomic composition but are not identical. Enantiomers : are mirror images that cannot be superimposed on one another. These molecules are also referred to as chiral molecules. The only way in which chiral molecules differ is the direction that they rotate plane polarized light. In plane polarized light, all the waves are moving parallel to each other. Two enantiomers will rotate the direction the light waves are moving by the same magnitude, but in opposite directions.
A sample containing only one enantiomer is enantiopure, while a sample containing both is called a " racemic mixture".
C13H10N2O4 is a well-known example of a racemic mixture, the drug was developed in the first half of the twentieth century as a sedative, and was also very effective for treating the morning sickness and nausea that many women experience during pregnancy.
chiral molecules differ is the direction that they rotate plane polarized light. Thalidomide was very popular in Europe in the 1950's, but its popularity coincided with an increasing number of children experiencing debilitating birth defects. IUPAC name : 2-[(3S)-2,6-dioxopiperidin-3-yl]isoindole-1,3-dione.
The most common side effect of thalidomide is phocomelia (a condition where limbs are either missing entirely or are very short, leaving the hands or feet to develop close to the trunk of the body). Learn about Dr. Frances Kelsey and how she was able to prevent a massive national public health tragedy here..