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Isomer Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Organic chemical compounds contain a vast number of isomers, molecules with the same molecular formula but different atomic arrangement, of which there are three types: structural, geometric and optical. The most closely-linked of isomers are optical isomers, which differ only by the three-dimensional placement of the molecule’s attachments, which renders its mirror images to be non-superimposable. The presence of optical isomerism within a molecule is determined by the existence of a chiral centre—a carbon atom with four different groups (see Appendix, figure 1). Pure optical isomers have identical physical properties such as melting point, boiling point and density, as well as identical chemical properties; thus there are only two ways that they can be distinguished: their interaction with other chiral…