Introduction To UV-Vis Spectroscopy

September 16, 2016

In today’s post we’ll discuss why most molecules are colourless, introduce the useful technique of UV-visible spectroscopy, and finally explain why molecules like chlorophyll and β-carotene are coloured.…

How Bleach Works: Understanding Colors From Nature

September 8, 2016

Why are tomatoes red? Why are carrots orange? Why are egg yolks yellow?   And… why is Vulcan blood green? OK, I’m not going to touch that last one, but as for the first three: great question. There are…

Degrees of Unsaturation (Index of Hydrogen Deficiency)

August 26, 2016

The molecular formula of a compound can give helpful hints about its structure. Today we’ll talk about a quick and useful calculation we can perform to obtain the number of [multiple bonds + rings] in an un…

Structure Determination Case Study: Deer Tarsal Gland Pheromone

Structure Determination Case Study: Deer Tarsal Gland PheromoneAugust 23, 2016

In January 1969, the Beatles released their “Yellow Submarine” single and performed their last live gig, Richard Nixon was inaugurated as president, and Brownlee et. al. published their seminal paper, …

Natural Product Isolation (2) – Purification of Crude Mixtures Overview

Natural Product Isolation (2) – Purification of Crude Mixtures OverviewAugust 12, 2016

  Previously,  we showed a few examples of preparing crude extracts from plants and other organisms. While sometimes (rarely) we get lucky and obtain an extract that is predominantly one compound, a more repre…

Natural Product Isolation (1) – Extraction

July 12, 2016

“Let’s plant catnip”, they said. “It will keep away mosquitoes”, they said. [from r/pics . h/t @curiouswavefn] In the previous post on some notable molecules from nature, we saw many ex…

Now Available – The Spectroscopy Pack (PDF)

July 7, 2016

One of the most common complaints I hear from readers of Master Organic Chemistry is that there isn’t a lot of coverage of spectroscopy. And I’ve been sorry to say, they’re right. Spectroscopy prob…

A Gallery of Some Interesting Molecules From Nature

April 21, 2016

[In which we inch our way, very very slowly, towards spectroscopy and structure determination] Recently I wrote about my experience of finding a bottle of  “White Tail Doe Urine” in the back of my rental …

Reaction Map: Reactions of Organometallics

April 11, 2016

After the series of posts on Alcohols, I put together a large PDF that included the reactions of alcohols, alkenes, alkanes, alkynes, and alkyl halides on a large sheet. I was going to add our recent reactions of orga…

New IUPAC Rules Make Molecular Names More Pronounceable, Friendlier

April 1, 2016

Bowing to pressure from consumer products companies facing a growing public relations nightmare over chemical ingredients in food, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has made sweeping change…