Functional Groups

Organic Chemistry IUPAC Nomenclature Demystified With A Simple Puzzle Piece Approach

Organic Chemistry IUPAC Nomenclature Demystified With A Simple Puzzle Piece ApproachOctober 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 preparat…

Maybe they should call them, “Formal Wins” ?

Maybe they should call them, “Formal Wins” ?August 15, 2014

In April of this year, Braves reliever Luis Avilan came in with a 5-1 lead in the 8th inning. Eight batters later, he’d given up five runs, blowing the lead. Thankfully for him, the Braves came back in the top of th…

Summary Sheet: Functional Groups

Summary Sheet: Functional GroupsAugust 21, 2012

I thought it would be good to make a summary sheet based on functional groups, so here one is: Functional Group Summary Sheet (PDF) You can find other sheets in the Summary Sheets section of this site. In addition, I …

The Malonic Ester Synthesis

The Malonic Ester SynthesisAugust 14, 2012

Apropos of nothing, here’s a post about a series of reactions that is a common source of student difficulties. It’s called the malonic ester synthesis, and it’s an interesting way of making substitu…

Acid Base Reactions: What’s the Point?

Acid Base Reactions: What’s the Point?May 30, 2012

One thing has been missing from our discussion of acid-base reactions. Who cares? What does it matter that we understand acid base reactions? Why is it important? Today, I hope to show that it matters a lot, not only …

Acid Base Reactions Are Fast

Acid Base Reactions Are FastMay 21, 2012

Common dilemma in organic chemistry as you move through the latter parts of Org 1 and then into Org 2: When more than one reaction is possible, how do you know which one will happen? In a steel cage match between an a…

A Handy Rule of Thumb for Acid-Base Reactions

A Handy Rule of Thumb for Acid-Base ReactionsMay 17, 2012

Last time I talked about pKa and how it’s the closest thing we have to a universal measurement of  the strengths of all kinds of different acids and bases.  I also referred to a post on how to use a pKa table …

Walkthrough of Acid-Base reactions (4) – pKa

Walkthrough of Acid-Base reactions (4) – pKaMay 9, 2012

So last time we went through all the different trends that affect acidity. The bottom line is that any factor which stabilizes the conjugate base will result in increased acidity.  Now it’s fine to know trends …

Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Reaction Maps

Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Reaction MapsMay 7, 2012

This time of year one of the most common problems students come to me with is how to do synthesis problems. Like this:  There’s a lot of different ways to go about learning how to do synthesis – and IR…

Weird Nomenclature In Carbonyl Chemistry

Weird Nomenclature In Carbonyl ChemistryMarch 26, 2012

Making it through the chemistry of carbonyl derivatives (ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, esters, and more) there are at least two “weird” nomenclature issues that repeatedly come up to baffle student…