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Pi Molecular Orbitals of Butadiene

February 28, 2017

In the last post in this series we built up the pi molecular orbitals of the allyl pi-system, consisting of three consecutive p orbitals in conjugation. We saw that: The number of molecular orbitals (n) for a pi-syst…

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Optical Purity and Enantiomeric Excess

February 24, 2017

In our last post on optical rotation, we saw that when Louis Pasteur crystallized a salt of a compound then known as “racemic acid” he discovered that it formed two different types of crystals. When redis…

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Molecular Orbitals of The Allyl Cation, Allyl Radical, and Allyl Anion

Molecular Orbitals of The Allyl Cation, Allyl Radical, and Allyl Anion

February 16, 2017

In the last post, we showed how to build a molecular orbital (MO) diagram for a typical C-C pi bond. We saw that: The number of molecular orbitals equalled the number of contributing atomic orbitals. The overlap of …

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Liquid Gold: Pheromones In Doe Urine

Liquid Gold: Pheromones In Doe Urine

March 24, 2016

A few months ago my mom came down to visit, and we had a fun lunch at my favourite aquarium restaurant.  On our drive home, we got on the highway in the rain and turned a corner only to be confronted with a sea of …

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Our New Book, “Practice Organic Mechanisms”, Is Out

Our New Book, “Practice Organic Mechanisms”, Is Out

March 14, 2016

Today I’m delighted to announce a new book – Practice Organic Mechanisms, co-written with Dr. Michelle Sulikowski, Senior Lecturer of Organic Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Practice Organic Mechanis…

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Synthesis (6) – Reactions of Alcohols

Synthesis (6) – Reactions of Alcohols

July 27, 2015

The Alcohol Reaction Map Having now finished (at long last) covering the key reactions of alcohols, let’s stop to put everything in perspective. Over the past 18 posts, we covered reactions such as: Ether format…

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The SN1, E1, and Alkene Addition Reactions All Pass Through A Carbocation Intermediate

The SN1, E1, and Alkene Addition Reactions All Pass Through A Carbocation Intermediate

April 21, 2015

Was going to include this in my last post but it was getting too big. Note how the SN1, E1, and alkene addition reactions all pass through a carbocation intermediate. Here’s how they’re related. Starting w…

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Weirdest spam comment I’ve had in awhile

Weirdest spam comment I’ve had in awhile

March 23, 2015

In the “WTF” category…   Author : Dr abdoul E-mail : cleaninglab@yahoo.com URL : http://www.cleaninglab.ga Comment: WELCOME TO CLEANINGLAB LABORATORIES (PTY) LTD. WE PROVIDE SSD SOLUTION CHEMICA…

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

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 …

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Which Cyclohexane Chair Is Of Lower Energy?

Which Cyclohexane Chair Is Of Lower Energy?

July 23, 2014

In the last post, we introduced A values and said they were a useful tool for determining which groups are “bulkiest” on a cyclohexane ring. The greater the A-value (bulk), the more favoured the equatorial…

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