Hybrid Orbitals

Hybrid Orbitals

October 10, 2017

Summary of today’s discussion on hybrid orbitals! [Note: This post was co-authored with Matthew Pierce of Organic Chemistry Solutions.  Ask Matt about scheduling an online tutoring session here. ] In the las…

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Activating and Deactivating Groups In Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution

Activating and Deactivating Groups In Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution

September 26, 2017

Quick summary on what we’ll talk about today, on activating and deactivating groups in electrophilic aromatic substitution: There’s a lot to this post, so here’s a quick index: Electrophilic Aromatic…

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The Hofmann and Curtius Rearrangements

The Hofmann and Curtius Rearrangements

September 19, 2017

Here’s the thing about the coverage of “amines” in Org 2: there’s no narrative. Unlike most chapters, it doesn’t start with a set of concepts and then build up to a series of examples you apply t…

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Reducing Sugars

Reducing Sugars

September 12, 2017

What’s a reducing sugar, and why is it important? Here’s a quick summary. Full details in the post below. Better Living Through Chemistry Q.  Can you think of a situation where it might be useful to be ab…

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Cyclic Dienes and Dienophiles in the Diels-Alder Reaction

Cyclic Dienes and Dienophiles in the Diels-Alder Reaction

September 8, 2017

Last post in this series we introduced the Diels-Alder reaction. We saw that no matter how complex the diene or dienophile, or no matter what substituents are attached, the pattern of bonds that form and break are alw…

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Reductive Amination

Reductive Amination

September 1, 2017

Reminder: Alkylation of Amines Is Rarely The Answer OK – so making amines through direct alkylation is generally not a great way to go. You could even say it’s crappy. What’s the “right” …

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The Diels-Alder Reaction

The Diels-Alder Reaction

August 30, 2017

Today we’ll introduce  a reaction I consider to be the most useful and powerful reaction in all of organic chemistry: the Diels-Alder reaction. But don’t take some random blogger’s word for it. Her…

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How Do We Know Methane Is Tetrahedral?

How Do We Know Methane Is Tetrahedral?

August 25, 2017

In our review of atomic orbitals, we saw that the orbital configuration of the valence electrons of carbon is 2s22p2 as shown below:  Since the 2s orbital is lower in energy than 2p, it’s filled first. That mea…

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The Simple Two-Step Pattern For Seven Key Reactions of Aldehydes and Ketones

August 18, 2017

“There are just so many reactions! I can’t remember all the mechanisms!!” – distressed organic chemistry student Yes, yes there are a lot of reactions, particularly in second semester organic …

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Mutarotation

Mutarotation

August 17, 2017

In our recent post on ring-chain tautomerism, we said that there are two isomers of D-glucose in its 6-membered ring (“pyranose”) form. These two diastereomers – which, to make matters more confusing…

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