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asymmetric

Lacking all symmetry elements (other than the trivial one of a one-fold axis of symmetry), i.e. belonging to the symmetry point group C 1. The term has been used loosely (and incorrectly) to describe the absence of a rotation–reflection axis (alternating axis) in a molecule, i.e. as meaning chiral, and this usage persists in the traditional terms asymmetric carbon atom, asymmetric synthesis, asymmetric induction, etc.
Source:
PAC, 1996, 68, 2193 (Basic terminology of stereochemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 2199
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Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.A00478.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/A00478.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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