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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Pyranoses and Furanoses: Ring-Chain Tautomerism In Sugars

Pyranoses and Furanoses: Ring-Chain Tautomerism In Sugars

July 13, 2017

The Many Forms Of Glucose What’s the structure of glucose? A simple question! but one with many “right” answers. The first question to ask, which we covered in our recent post on D- and L- sugars,…

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Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution: Introduction

Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution: Introduction

July 11, 2017

Today’s post covers a key reaction of aromatic compounds: electrophilic aromatic substitution. When we covered the reactions of alkenes a while back – a lot of reactions! –  we saw that the vast maj…

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Review of Atomic Orbitals

Review of Atomic Orbitals

June 7, 2017

[Note: the following article is intended as a quick review on atomic orbitals for students enrolled in an introductory organic chemistry class who are assumed to have taken general chemistry. It is by no means a compl…

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Alkylation of Amines Is A Shite Reaction

Alkylation of Amines Is A Shite Reaction

May 26, 2017

Trends in the basicity of amines provide a classic example of why chemistry is so interesting; it’s deciphering the delicate trade-offs between various general factors in specific cases that gives chemists a buz…

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D and L Sugars

May 24, 2017

What differentiates “D-glucose” from “L-glucose” ? Or D-alanine from L-alanine? What’s this D- and L- nomenclature, anyway? For everyone in a rush, here is the quick and dirty answer: For…

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Frost Circles

Frost Circles

May 17, 2017

We’ve spent a lot of time in previous posts “building up” and drawing out the molecular orbitals for various species. In this post we’ll learn an extremely useful shortcut that will help us dra…

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