Alkene Nomenclature: Cis and Trans and E and Z

Alkene Nomenclature: Cis and Trans and E and Z

November 3, 2016

This post was co-authored with Matt Pierce of Organic Chemistry Solutions.  Ask Matt about scheduling an online tutoring session here. Earlier on our MOC series on cycloalkanes, we saw that a key feature of small …

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Introduction to Assigning (R) and (S): The Cahn-Ingold-Prelog Rules

Introduction to Assigning (R) and (S): The Cahn-Ingold-Prelog Rules

October 20, 2016

This post was co-authored by Matt Pierce of Organic Chemistry Solutions.  Ask Matt about scheduling an online tutoring session here. Previously on MOC we’ve described enantiomers: molecules that are non-superim…

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UV-Vis Spectroscopy: Some Practice Questions

UV-Vis Spectroscopy: Some Practice Questions

September 27, 2016

In the past few posts we’ve covered some of the key points of UV-Vis spectroscopy. Now comes the key question: how do we apply it? How can it be useful to us, especially in determining the structure of unknown c…

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UV-Vis Spectroscopy: Absorbance of Carbonyls

UV-Vis Spectroscopy: Absorbance of Carbonyls

September 26, 2016

In our last post we showed that molecules with C-C pi (π) bonds absorb light in the UV-visible region, which promotes electrons from (bonding) π orbitals to (anti bonding) π* orbitals. We saw that the energy requ…

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Introduction To UV-Vis Spectroscopy

September 16, 2016

In today’s post we’ll discuss why most molecules are colourless, introduce the useful technique of UV-visible spectroscopy, and finally explain why molecules like chlorophyll and β-carotene are coloured.…

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How Bleach Works: Understanding Colors From Nature

September 8, 2016

Why are tomatoes red? Why are carrots orange? Why are egg yolks yellow?   And… why is Vulcan blood green? OK, I’m not going to touch that last one, but as for the first three: great question. There are…

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Degrees of Unsaturation (Index of Hydrogen Deficiency)

August 26, 2016

The molecular formula of a compound can give helpful hints about its structure. Today we’ll talk about a quick and useful calculation we can perform to obtain the number of [multiple bonds + rings] in an un…

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Structure Determination Case Study: Deer Tarsal Gland Pheromone

Structure Determination Case Study: Deer Tarsal Gland Pheromone

August 23, 2016

In January 1969, the Beatles released their “Yellow Submarine” single and performed their last live gig, Richard Nixon was inaugurated as president, and Brownlee et. al. published their seminal paper, …

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Natural Product Isolation (2) – Purification of Crude Mixtures Overview

Natural Product Isolation (2) – Purification of Crude Mixtures Overview

August 12, 2016

  Previously,  we showed a few examples of preparing crude extracts from plants and other organisms. While sometimes (rarely) we get lucky and obtain an extract that is predominantly one compound, a more repre…

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Natural Product Isolation (1) – Extraction

July 12, 2016

“Let’s plant catnip”, they said. “It will keep away mosquitoes”, they said. [from r/pics . h/t @curiouswavefn] In the previous post on some notable molecules from nature, we saw many ex…

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