Master Organic Chemistry – The (Short) Video

October 31, 2014

My friends at Simplifilm animated this short video describing what Master Organic Chemistry is for – in only 1 minute and 17 seconds. The animation is great – but we hired the cheapest voice-over guy we could find. ; – ) Watch it and let me know what you think! Related Posts:No Related Posts

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Williamson Ether Synthesis: Planning

October 30, 2014

In the last post we introduced the Williamson ether synthesis,  one of the most straightforward ways we know of to make an ether. If you’ve been in the trenches long enough, you would have also noticed that it’s actually nothing that new –  the Williamson is just “rebranding” of a reaction we’ve seen before,  the SN2 [...]

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The Williamson Ether Synthesis

October 24, 2014

In the last post, we discussed the acid-base properties of alcohols. Two posts ago, we said that acid-base reactions are often used to “set up” substitution and elimination reactions of alcohols.  In this post, we’ll talk about what is probably the best example of this last point –  the Williamson Ether Synthesis. The Williamson Ether [...]

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Organic Chemistry IUPAC Nomenclature Demystified With A Simple Puzzle Piece Approach

October 21, 2014

IUPAC Nomenclature Demystified with a Simple Puzzle-Piece Approach, by Leah Fisch Note from James: This is a guest post by Leah Fisch of Leah4Sci.com , an online resource for learning organic chemistry, MCAT preparation, and other science topics . This is an epic, comprehensive post on  organic chemistry IUPAC nomenclature. You might want to bookmark this page for [...]

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Alcohols (3) – Acidity and Basicity

October 17, 2014

In the last post we said that one of the keys to the reactions of alcohols as we go forward is that the conjugate acid is a better leaving group and the conjugate base is a better nucleophile. We might have gotten a little ahead of ourselves broaching that topic, because we haven’t yet really revisited some [...]

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How Esther Bounced Back From a “C” To Get A’s In Organic Chemistry 1 And 2

How Esther Bounced Back From a “C” To Get A’s In Organic Chemistry 1 And 2

October 8, 2014

The importance of attitude The student who is the subject of today’s success story, Esther,  didn’t start off doing well in organic chemistry. Actually, she says that the first time she took organic, she got a C. This is because she believed that her NOT doing well was almost inevitable. Esther: “I am not going to [...]

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How To Make Alcohols More Reactive

How To Make Alcohols More Reactive

October 6, 2014

In the last post we explored some of the properties and nomenclature of alcohols. We said that alcohols tend to have high boiling points due to hydrogen bonding, and that  we commonly divide alcohols into the categories  “primary”, “secondary”,  and “tertiary” (with a nod to the unique, “methanol”) according to how many carbons are attached to the C [...]

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Alcohols (1) – Nomenclature and Properties

September 17, 2014

In this next series of posts we are going to discuss the reactions of alcohols. As a functional group, alcohols are introduced fairly early in organic chemistry. Their reactions, however, are usually not covered until near the end of Org 1 – at least after subjects like substitution and elimination reactions have been explored. That’s [...]

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How Concepts Build Up In Org 2

September 9, 2014

OK. Having looked at the Org 1 Concept Map, let’s ask the next logical question: what does a typical Org 2 course look like? One general observation: the way functional groups are covered in your typical two-semester organic chemistry course generally follows the oxidation ladder. Look at the progression:  alkanes (low oxidation state) first, then [...]

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How Concepts Build Up In Org 1 (“The Pyramid”)

September 5, 2014

I LOVE making maps. Whenever I played adventure games as a kid (or, let’s face it, as an adult) I often made meticulous maps of how each area led to the next. Any time I really want to understand something, I have to write everything out and make a map to connect things together – usually [...]

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