Is a Computer Keyboard Chiral or Achiral?


We’ve looked at mechanical keyboards, TKL, compact, small, large peripherals, and everything, but one very popular debate nowadays is a computer keyboard chiral or achiral? 

Well, what is it then? You might be wondering. Don’t worry, because this is exactly what I’m here to tell you.

In this article, I’m going to make you familiar with the concept of Chirality and how chiral and achiral objects work, along with examples to finally show you whether a computer keyboard is chiral or achiral. So, make sure you read this article till the end.

Is a Computer Keyboard Chiral or Achiral

What are Chiral Objects?

Chirality is a property based on the symmetric elements of an object. For example, if an object is not perfectly symmetrical around the center point, and although if rotated 180 degrees, it might show a mirror image but isn’t completely identical to the original form of the object, then it is a chiral object. 

Such an object has a property known as handedness. This means that although there are similarities in both the sides of an object around the center point, the sides cannot be superimposed on each other and look the same after the change-up.

Examples

There are many examples of Chiral objects. Most commonly, the things that are created separately for each of your hands and feet. Let’s take the example of a pair of gloves.

A left-hand glove is the mirror image of a right-hand glove, but you cannot use the left-hand glove in the right-hand one’s place because they’re not superimposable on each other, and they serve different purposes.

Similarly, we’ve got the example of shoes. Each pair of shoes has one for the left foot and one for the right foot. You can’t simply wear the left shoe on your right foot and call it a day. This is simply because of the symmetrical error that Chiral objects bring with them.

What are Achiral Objects?

x
Microsoft Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard 5000 Review

On the other hand, Achiral objects are completely symmetrical and can be easily superimposed onto both sides of their center point or point of symmetry without looking any different.

This means that if you rotate the sides of an achiral object 180 degrees, each side will look the same because there is no handedness in such objects. Therefore, the mirror image of the object would be identical.

Examples

In real life, we have many examples of Achiral objects, but one most common and important example that you’ll easily be able to understand is a playing card’s achirality.

When you’re holding a playing card, you must’ve noticed that whenever you rotate the card, it looks as if you never rotated it at all because the printing on both sides is completely the same.

This means that on both sides of the point of symmetry, you have printing that is the mirror image of the other side, and the sides are perfectly identical to each other. So, playing cards are mostly achiral in nature.

Chiral Objects vs Achiral Objects

ChiralAchiral
GlovesPlaying Cards
ShoesLightbulb
ControllerPen
PhonePaper
KeyboardFlask

Computer Keyboards: Chiral or Achiral?

So, finally, the most important question of this discussion is a computer keyboard Chiral or Achiral? Well, to make things clear, a computer keyboard is a chiral object.

Now that must be making you wonder, how exactly is a computer keyboard a chiral object? It is actually pretty simple to explain. Here’s why:

A computer keyboard is designed with equal space on both sides of the center position. Each side left and right, has the same shape, spacing between the keys, and units of keys.

But the difference between both sides is that the left side of the keyboard is designed to be easier for the left hand, and the right-hand side is made to be easy to use for the right hand.

Furthermore, both the keys’ functionalities on either side of a keyboard are different. While there is some symmetry, a computer keyboard cannot be superimposed. This is precisely why a computer keyboard is chiral in nature as an object.

Every day you learn something new.

Conclusion

Knowing about the Chirality of objects can increase your knowledge and help you pick out and choose the right keyboard for yourself. So next time, if you find a keyboard meant for a particular-handed person, you won’t make a mistake and buy that keyboard for yourself. I hope you learned a lot from this article and that you have amazing keyboarding experiences in the future!

Recent Content