Can anyone lead me in the right direction as to how to tell if a compound is optically active or not? Has it got somthing to do with whether a compound has two chiral centres, one having an R configuration and the other an S configuration? I understand that optical activity is indicated in nomenclature i.e. (-)-Lactic acid and (+)-Lactic acid.... but have read that the sign of optical rotation, (+) or (-), is not related to the R,S designation.
What im basically asking is, if given a structure, can you tell if it is optically active? and how?
is it simply the fact that if a compound is chiral that it will be optically active?
Any hints or help is appreciated.