Where Electrons Are

What’s An Organometallic?

What’s An Organometallic?

October 28, 2015

Quick summary for today – the first in a new series on organometallic compounds: Previously on MOC we’ve discussed how important dipoles are in determining the reactivity of a molecule. Wait: dipoles, yo…

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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…

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Crash Course On Resonance

Crash Course On Resonance

March 13, 2014

Note – the Crash Course on Resonance is now part of Master Organic Chemistry Elite – Learn more here One extremely common type of email I get from students goes like this: “I feel way behind on [X] …

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What Makes A Good Nucleophile?

What Makes A Good Nucleophile?

June 18, 2012

If you read the last post, you’ll recall that a nucleophile is a species that donates a pair of electrons to form a new covalent bond. Nucleophilicity is measured by comparing reaction rates; the faster the reac…

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Nucleophiles and Electrophiles

Nucleophiles and Electrophiles

June 5, 2012

All through the series on understanding where electrons are, and how they flow, we’ve been talking about how the basis of chemistry is that opposite charges attract and like charges repel, and that in reactions,…

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Walkthrough of Substitution Reactions (1) – Introduction

Walkthrough of Substitution Reactions (1) – Introduction

May 31, 2012

Today starts a new series of posts on walking through one of the key classes of reaction in organic chemistry: substitution reactions. The goal of this series is to teach you:  How to recognize substitution reactions…

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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 …

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7 Factors That Stabilize Positive Charge in Organic Chemistry

7 Factors That Stabilize Positive Charge in Organic Chemistry

March 7, 2012

Just to clarify: make sure you’re familiar with how formal charge can lie before you read this. These factors determine the stability of “true” positive charges (i.e. low electron densities), not …

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Common Mistakes: Formal Charges Can Mislead

Common Mistakes: Formal Charges Can Mislead

February 22, 2012

Formal charges have their plusses and minuses. Har har. One one hand, they’re an indispensable accounting tool. If a molecule bears a charge, it would drive us nuts (for nomenclature reasons) if we didn’t …

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The Third Most Important Question to Ask When Learning A New Reaction

The Third Most Important Question to Ask When Learning A New Reaction

February 20, 2012

When learning any new reaction, I think you always have to start with the “what”. What bonds are forming, and what bonds are breaking. After you answer “what”, then you can start asking “…

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