Problem: Indicate the stereochemical configuration for the tetrahedral centers shown below.

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We’re being asked to determine the stereochemical configuration of the following molecules.



Recall that the R/S configuration gives us the absolute stereochemistry of chiral centers. It involves:

Step 1: Determine the priority of groups at the chiral center.

• Priority is determined using atomic mass.

• If the same atom is present, we compare the other atoms it is bonded to.

– Double and triple bonds count twice/thrice.


Step 2: Determine the R/S configuration of the chiral center.

• If the lowest priority is on a dashed line: trace a path from 1 to 3

– If the order is clockwise R (rectus or right)

– If the order is counterclockwise S (sinister or left)


• If the lowest priority is not on a dashed line: swap with the group on a dashed line

– Trace a path from 1 to 3:

– Clockwise R becomes S because of the swap

– Counterclockwise S becomes R because of the swap


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Problem Details

Indicate the stereochemical configuration for the tetrahedral centers shown below.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the R and S Configuration concept. You can view video lessons to learn R and S Configuration. Or if you need more R and S Configuration practice, you can also practice R and S Configuration practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Falcao's class at UM.