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How do you locate a chiral center?

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Quick Answer

Chiral centers are tetrahedral carbon atoms that are connected to four different substituents. To locate a chiral center in a compound, first draw out the compound to show all of its bonds. Then, look for carbons that are connected to four different substituents. These carbons are chiral.

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Full Answer

Chiral carbons can be denoted as "R" or "S" depending on their configuration. The substituents of a chiral carbon can be prioritized by their atomic numbers. Higher atomic numbers have higher priority. After numbering the substituents by their priority numbers, they will either follow a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner. Clockwise configurations are known as R and counter-clockwise configurations are known as S.

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