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1.How would you approach to predict an
a) inorganic chemical reaction
b) Organic chemical reaction
B. Are structural and electronic configuration enough to understand a compounds behaviour and properties. (Assuming temperature and pressure can be varied freely)
C. What are the basic concept that a person have to master in order to be an expert in Organic chemistry.

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1. a) Could you be more specific?

b) It depends. I usually start by identifying the class of reagent, the reactive points of the molecule and go from there. For many simple reactions it's often just a case of identifying the nucleophile and the electrophile. You do need to have some skill in electron pushing and a good sense of what is chemically allowed for this to work for more complicated reactions, but that comes with experience.

B. I don't know what you mean by structural configuration. In general though, electronic configuration will get you only a small part of the picture.

C. There are many things you have to have a good understanding of. Get an organic text book (McMurry and Clayden are my favourites) and get a feel for it yourself. The mastery side of it come with extensive practise.

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1. a) What is first thing one should look for to understand mechanism, kinetics, yield etc
B. Structural arrangement in 3D space ( could it do any good in predicting it's properties and behaviour?)

Edited by The Almighty

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1.a) So first thing to look for is reaction type. Got it.
B. So are structure and electronic configuration enough to predict the behaviour and properties? (i.e can we approach chemistry physically ?)

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studiot    1131

Unfortunately the quote functions doesn't work in this acer netbook so please pretend I have quoted your OP.



There is nothing in the question or your own page to tell us the level or context at which you are asking these questions so I am going to guess you are moving from high school to college.


Yes there is significant interplay between the structure of molecules and the reactions they participate in and the way in way they take part in these reactions.


Activity of general interest to chemists takes part between the electrons of a molecule, and usually only some of the outer ones at that.


This is true of both organic and inorganic chemistry.


To answer one of your questions above.


To explore a particular proposed reaction you need to study three things.


First how to balance a chemical reaction.


Second chemical energetics (thermodynamics) .

This will tell you if the reaction is possible by itself.

But a reaction that is theoretically possible may take (nearly) forever to happen, either because of energy barriers or because it is very slow.


Thirdly chemical kinetics.

This can tell you how fast a reaction proceeds and how far depending upon the concentrations of the reactants and products.


One other aspect worth mentioning.

The size of molecules plays an important part in separating the nature of reactions.


When a small molecule has stuff added or removed by reaction it usually makes major changes to the nature and structure of what is created or left. The whole molecule can be said to participate in the reaction.


For large to very large molecules the situation can be somewhat different, when only a small part of the molecule is actually involved in the reaction and the rest just tags along for the ride.

This is of great interest particularly in the life sciences such as biochemistry and pharmacology where these large molecules regularly arise.

Here molecular shape plays a much more important role as one part of the molecule can get in the way of the active part and interfere with a reaction.

Much of our knowledge of life science chemistry is based on this.


Finally there are entire textbooks about these aspects of chemistry.


Spice: Molecular Binding and Structure


Stranks: Chemistry a Structural View


Wells: Structural Inorganic Chemistry



So over to you to tell us more about your needs?



  • Upvote 1

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DrP    347

You're right. I am moving to college from high school. And I want to begin with correct approach to develop concepts of chemistry.


Then I would advise attending your lectures at college and trying to take an interest and listen to what is being said and take decent notes that you can revise from. Ask questions of the lecturers if they allow it on areas where you don't understand.


C. What are the basic concept that a person have to master in order to be an expert in Organic chemistry.


By going to college to study chemistry you have started on that track. - Enjoy!

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studiot    1131

Then this similar question from FrankP might interest you


Franks has also posted some other threads that may interest you.




There are two ways of looking at reactions.


You can list the types of reaction and consider all the compounds that undergo each type of reaction.

This is the modern chemistry way for both organic and inorganic chemistry.


Or you can list all the compounds and then sublist all the reaction each compound takes part in.

Older texts and courses worked this way.



There is a really interesting and modern background textbook by a leading professor from Oxford university, P Atkins

entitled 'Molecules'.

I would recommend it as pre course reading to anyone.

Edited by studiot

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