# Do different alkyl groups affect chirality?

I am a bit confused on the definition of a chiral center;

A carbon atom is chiral if it has four different items bonded to it at the same time. source

However I am not sure whether different alkyl groups such as $$\ce{CH_3}$$ or $$\ce{C_5H_{11}}$$ on a single carbon count as "different" items, or do only different functional groups count?

• See, you did not say "identical alkyl groups such as CH3 or C5H11". Why? Because you know they are different. Yes, that counts. – Ivan Neretin Aug 19 '20 at 15:56
• Also, keep in mind that it is not limited to carbon with 4 different groups. For example, if you look at other elements with different ligands in inorganic compounds, they can be optically active as well. – Mathew Mahindaratne Aug 19 '20 at 17:15

(Try re-drawing the structures replacing the $$\ce{-COOH}$$ group with $$\ce{-C2H5}$$ and check if you can achieve superimposability)