Enantiomer vs. chiral

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  • #1
What makes something chiral, but not an enantiomer? It seems like they have the exact same definition
 

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  • #2
Ygggdrasil
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Chiral is an adjective that describes an object that cannot be exactly overlaid on its mirror image. Enantiomer is a noun that describes one of the pairs of mirror images of a chiral object. So, all chiral objects have enantiomers.
 
  • #3
chemisttree
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The only way you could have two chiral molecules not be enantiomers is for them to be diastereomers which requires at least two chiral centers. Of course every chiral molecule has an enantiomer.
 
  • #4
DrDu
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Strictly speaking, chirality is an ensemble property (although the ensemble can also consist of a single molecule) while enantiomerism refers to single molecules.
E.g. a 50:50 mixture of d and l glucose enantiomers (a "racemic" mixture) is not considered to be chiral.
 

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