Thermodynamics and Kinetics

The E2 Mechanism

The E2 MechanismSeptember 27, 2012

Having gone through the E1 mechanism for elimination reactions, we’ve accounted for one way in which elimination reactions can occur. However, there’s still another set of data that describes some eliminat…

Elimination Reactions Are Favored By Heat

Elimination Reactions Are Favored By HeatSeptember 10, 2012

A few posts back we saw how elimination reactions are often in competition with substitution reactions. ow do we know when one reaction pathway is going to be preferred over another? As we’ll see, there are goin…

The SN2 Mechanism

The SN2 MechanismJuly 4, 2012

Having gone through the two different types of substitution reactions, and talked about nucleophiles and electrophiles, we’re finally in a position to reveal the mechanism for one of the most important reactions…

Two Types of Substitution Reactions

Two Types of Substitution ReactionsJune 27, 2012

Chemistry is an experimental science. There is no great Ramanujan of our discipline, who, starting with a simple set of premises, could derive and predict all of the depth and variety of modern chemistry. No, it is mu…

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 …

Hammond’s Postulate

Hammond’s PostulateSeptember 28, 2011

Last week Diana left this comment: I recently had my first orgo exam and one of the concepts that I have trouble visceralizing is Hammond’s Postulate. I can follow the explanation in my textbook (L.G. Wade, Jr. …

What To Expect In Organic Chemistry 2

What To Expect In Organic Chemistry 2January 19, 2011

A large part of organic chemistry 1 is devoted to laying the foundations: introducing structural concepts such as bonding, geometry, stereochemistry, conformations, resonance, and steric effects, while introducing con…

What’s a Transition State?

What’s a Transition State?November 3, 2010

Here’s a question that comes up a lot: What’s a transition state? In the Harry Potter series, Remus Lupin changed to his werewolf form when the moon was full. But he didn’t go from human to werewolf …