When molecules form from many atoms, the atoms can combine in different ways. Two forms of the same molecule can have the same composition but have different arrangements of atoms, giving rise to isomers. Some isomers may have structures that are mirror images of each other. Such molecules are called chiral molecules. Scientists are interested in studying such molecules, for example, penicillin, because one arrangement can be a lifesaver while the other could be fatal!
Two new studies from the Indian Institute of Bombay (IIT Bombay), Mumbai, show the importance of defects in the arrangement of atoms in a crystal, called dislocations, in shaping the physical properties of metallic alloys.