|enantiomer (ĭ-nān'tē-ə-mər) Pronunciation Key
Either of two stereoisomers that are mirror images of one another but cannot be superimposed on one another and that rotate the plane of polarized light in opposite directions. Enantiomers usually behave the same chemically but differ in optical behavior and sometimes in how quickly they react with other enantiomers. Also called optical isomer, enantiomorph. Compare geometric isomer.
(from Greek enantios, "opposite"; morphe, "form"), also called Antimer, or Optical Antipode, either of a pair of objects related to each other as the right hand is to the left, that is, as mirror images that cannot be reoriented so as to appear identical. An object that has a plane of symmetry cannot be an enantiomorph because the object and its mirror image are identical. Molecular enantiomorphs, such as those of lactic acid, have identical chemical properties, except in their chemical reaction with other dissymmetric molecules and with polarized light. Enantiomorphs are important to crystallography because many crystals are arrangements of alternate right- and left-handed forms of a single molecule. A complete description of the crystal specifies how the forms are mixed with each other
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