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I was studying about the optical activity of compounds. And I found , it is written that the chirality of a molecule is the necessary and sufficient condition for a molecule to be optically active. I mean if a molecule is chiral then it ia optically active. But to check chirality of a compound we have assure that the molecule is unsymmetrical and to check whether it is super imposable on ita mirror image or not. I think this process of checking the optical activity of a molecule is very cumbersome. I mean when there will be more than one chiral centres in the compound . Is there any other aid to check the optical activity easily?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Mithoron, A.K., Todd Minehardt, thomij, user55119 Mar 9 at 2:28

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  • $\begingroup$ Meh, I wonder what you'd tell about chiral compounds without chiral center... $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Mar 8 at 19:01
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If you find imagining and superimposing mirror images cumbersome, buy a molecular set. This will help. There is no short-cut in science and you are right sometimes very experienced people have difficulties in imagining these things especially if the molecules are complex. Models help them. There are various types of chiralities-having a chiral center is not a necessary condition. You will study a subject called group theory which will provide you a rigorous test for predicting optical activity. There are many molecules which do not have a single chiral center yet they are optical active. A simple example is that of binapthol (check Google images to see its structure). They are called atropoisomers and they are optically active.

Measuring optical activity by an experiment hardly takes 5-10 minutes in a polarimeter.

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