10 Halogen Derivaties

5. Explain

Optical isomerism in 2-chlorobutane.


  • Optical isomerism is a form of stereoisomerism characterized by different spatial arrangements of groups or atoms around a chiral (asymmetric) atom.

  • Taking 2-chlorobutane as an example, it contains a single chiral carbon atom, where four different groups are arranged in distinct spatial configurations.

  • The structure of 2-chlorobutane and its mirror image can be depicted, illustrating that the arrangement of these groups is not identical.

  • When attempting to superimpose 2-chlorobutane onto its mirror image, a perfect match cannot be achieved.

  • Consequently, 2-chlorobutane displays optical isomerism due to its inability to be superimposed upon its mirror image, indicating the presence of enantiomers with different spatial arrangements around the chiral carbon atom.

10 Halogen Derivative Page 233