Science Questions

What does D, L, R and S stand for?

Tue, 1st Apr 2014

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Vanessa asked:

So, we were talking about R and S-carvone, but what do R and S stand for? We also have D and L, and we also plus and minus. Why are there all these different letters?


Latin Dictionary from 1858Steven -   There are simply different systems that have come about for naming them.  So, for example, the D and the L, they refer to the way in which certain substances rotate the plane of polarisation of polarised light.  So, D is dextrorotatory, L is levorotatory, so right and left.  That's one of them.  Another of them is another set of arbitrary rules for the order in which bonds are substituted.

Harriet -   Thanks and the R is recto and S is sinister, I think.



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