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Chirality, or "handedness", (Greek, χειρ, kheir: "hand") is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science.
An object or a system is called chiral if it differs from its mirror image, and its mirror image cannot be superposed on the original object. A chiral object and its mirror image are called enantiomorphs (Greek opposite forms) or, when referring to molecules, enantiomers. A non-chiral object is called achiral (sometimes also amphichiral) and can be superposed on its mirror image.
Chirality may also refer to:
- Chirality (chemistry) of some molecules
- Chirality (mathematics) of mathematical objects
- Chirality (physics) of some subatomic particles
- The chirality of certain crystalline solids. Of the 230 existing space groups 65 are chiral. Sodium chlorate is an achiral ionic compound but crystallizes in a chiral P213 space group. An example of an achiral organic compound forming chiral crystals is benzil. Racemic acid is the racemic form of tartaric acid forming a mixture of two enantiomorphic crystals each form consisting of one of the two enantiomers.
- The chirality of surfaces. Materials with bulk chirality can be cleaved exposing a chiral surface.
- Chirality (biology) of gastropod shells. Most spirally coiled gastropod shells are "right-handed" in their coiling, but a minority are "left-handed".
- Chirality (manga)