Definition of optical isomer in US English:

optical isomer


  • Each of two or more forms of a compound which have the same structure but are mirror images of each other and typically differ in optical activity.

    • ‘Its origins lie with Louis Pasteur's discovery of optical isomers.’
    • ‘When they constructed models of organic compounds using tetrahedral atoms, they were able to explain a number of phenomena, including the existence of optical isomers, first discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1848.’
    • ‘A powerful tool to study the mechanism by which cholesterol modifies the function of ion channels is the substitution of endogenous cholesterol with its optical isomer, epicholesterol.’
    • ‘An interesting observation was that Compound D is identical to Compound Q except that they are optical isomers.’
    • ‘Two other chemical groups are attached to this hexagon, but each can attach at two different angles, resulting in four different versions, or optical isomers.’