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FrankP

Organic Chemistry Where to begin?

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Ok so this question is less about the subject and more about where do I start. I have organic chem next semester and my winter break starts tomorrow. I want to get ahead on this reading beforehand I was wondering where do you guys in your experience think the best place to start on organic chem is?

 

We left off on Acid and Base Equilibrium, net ionic equations etc... Idk if that has anything to do with organic or not but I am just looking for a little guidance.

 

Thanks everyone!

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I was in your exact shoes in 2013 when my orgo classes started...only I was it was summer and my semester was in fall.

 

What I did was I watched about 15-20 Khan Academy videos during the summer til I got the real basic ideas of orgo.

 

In hindsight, to get a better experience and more in-depth knowledge, I would: Contact the professor and buy the book early on, and read ahead a few chapters. All you really need is to be 3-4 chapters ahead of the class and you're fine.

Edited by Elite Engineer

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Ok so this question is less about the subject and more about where do I start. I have organic chem next semester and my winter break starts tomorrow. I want to get ahead on this reading beforehand I was wondering where do you guys in your experience think the best place to start on organic chem is?

 

We left off on Acid and Base Equilibrium, net ionic equations etc... Idk if that has anything to do with organic or not but I am just looking for a little guidance.

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Organic Chemistry where to begin?

 

And where to begin an answer?

 

:)

 

You will find all the same stuff in organic chemistry that you found in non organic but the emphasis will be different. In addition organic chemistry sports the richest collection of reactions and combinations of any element.

 

Stoichiometry is very very very important. ( we have talked about this before I seem to remember).

 

Acids and bases yes.

 

Remember

 

Acid + Base = Salt plus Water?

 

Well in organic chemistry you will meet another one.

 

(organic) Acid plus Alcohol = Ester + water.

 

Did I say alcohol?

 

That introduces the idea of functional groups.

 

Did you mention valency? Carbon is tetravalent (has a valency of 4).

It readily joins to other carbon atoms with a single double or triple bond.

It can join with other elements, notably hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur and the halogens (chlorine bromine iodine etc) to form a 'sub molecules' called functional groups that appear gain and again.

Carbon generally participates in covalent bonding. In order to form ionic compounds (it does) it combines with other elements into one of these functional groups to form the cation or anion.

 

A simple example is the hydroxyl group OH. This is connected to a carbon atom by a single bond C-OH and forms the basis of the alcohol functional group.

 

Functional groups are often indicated by the letter R

 

Another important function group is CH3, the methyl group

 

That is one carbon atom connected to 3 hydrogen atoms, as shown in Fig1.

 

If you were keeping count you would note that this leaves one carbon bond unaccounted for.

 

If this fourth bond is connected the hydroxyl group as above we have the simplest alcohol - methanol as in Fig2

 

If instead of a hydroxyl group we connect just a single hydrogen we get a compound containing only carbon and hydrogen.

These are called hydrocarbons (note the o does not stand for oxygen or water here) and this example as in Fig3 is the simplest and called methane.

 

Alternatively we can connect our methyl functional group to another methyl functional group as shown inf Fig4.

We then obtain the second hydrocarbon, called ethane, in the very important hydrocarbon gas series that we get from natural gas and oil.

 

This leads directly on to another speciality of organic chemistry. - Homologous Series.

 

When you a compound, you get many, may be thousands, more by simply changing the functional group each time.

These are called homologous series and the hydrocarbon gas one above goes, methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane etc which are called the alkanes.

 

These all have a common formula CnH(2n+2) where n is 1,2,3,4......

 

So I finish where I started.

 

Stoichiometry is very very very important.

 

post-74263-0-63334100-1481493608_thumb.jpg

 

Hope this is a good start for you.

 

Edit

Now to get a beer, see if you can use the above information to put functional groups together to get drinkable alcohol. called ethanol.

 

This should tell you something about naming between different series as well. Compare the alkanes and the alcohols.

 

 

Edited by studiot

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The most important thing is to have your general chemistry basics down pat. Stoicheometry has been mentioned, and this is obviously very important. I would add to this and say that you will also want to know about periodic trends (particularly as this applies to valence electrons, size, and electronegativity), very basics concepts of redox, intermolecular attractive forces, acids and bases (and the difference between strong and weak ones, as well as some of the more common examples of each category), the different types of chemical bonds, trends in bond strength, how to predict the outcomes of your more general reactions (acid plus base, acid plus carbonate, combustion, acid plus metal, etc.), and probably something else I am forgetting.

 

These are all topics covered in high school chemistry to some degree, and in my experience is usually taught prior to o chem. By first year university o chem, almost all of it is assumed knowledge.

 

First year o chem varies pretty wildly depending on where you go, but high school modules will generally begin with alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes, isomerism, their physical property trends, and nomenclature. This segues into more complex functional groups, their physical property trends and naming. Sometimes you will also see electronic configuration, quantum numbers, stereochemistry, hybridisation and molecular geometry thrown in the beginning. After that is usually reactions, electron pushing, and mechanisms. The exact reactions you do will vary, but the standards are things like alkene addition reactions, esterification / ester hydrolysis, oxidation and reduction of alcohols, and substitution reactions. I would not worry too much about leaping into that stuff until you have mastery of the other basics under your belt. Kahn academy is a great resource for this, as has been mentioned.

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For a beginner, I suggest start learning Organic Chemistry from the very basics, like....

Why there is a separate branch of organic chemistry?

Functional groups

Homologous series

Isomerism

Nomenclature

Hydrocarbons

Alkanes,alkenes,alkynes

Alcohols

Acids

And then.... You've grabed the basics.

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Get a plastic model kit for organic chemistry. It can be difficult to visualize organic molecules in three dimensions, but a good model kit can help immensely.

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The brunt of it all is in making flashcards and memorizing reactions mechanisms. For a beginner, you'll want to quickly (as this will be something you can do during break) learn how to name organic molecules. There is a naming system. That is something that is easy to do during break. Mechanisms is more than likely something you will be learning in lecture, as that may be professor-specific, whereby the instructor presents a certain view on how the mechanism occurs.

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Acid-base chemistry is important in organic, and some students really struggle with it. Therefore, I would say that winter break is a great time to nail the basics completely.

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Ok thanks guys this is a lot more helpful then I thought it would be. I will get going on some readings and videos. I do understand the general chemistry stuff ok... I would not say a master I mean I would say above average as compared to the people I go to school with but that isn't saying much. So I will look into the book and contacting the teacher as well. For now I will actually get going on some reading and videos.

 

Since last semester was with notoriously the worst teacher at my school I am sure the level of BS will be significantly lower than it was. Lol which is going to be a nice change of pace. Hopefully all of you guys enjoy the holiday's I will keep an eye out on the forum to see if anything pops up that is relevant to me!

 

Sincerely,

Frank

 

 

 

 


 

 

Organic Chemistry where to begin?

 

And where to begin an answer?

 

:)

 

You will find all the same stuff in organic chemistry that you found in non organic but the emphasis will be different. In addition organic chemistry sports the richest collection of reactions and combinations of any element.

 

Stoichiometry is very very very important. ( we have talked about this before I seem to remember).

 

Acids and bases yes.

 

Remember

 

Acid + Base = Salt plus Water?

 

Well in organic chemistry you will meet another one.

 

(organic) Acid plus Alcohol = Ester + water.

 

Did I say alcohol?

 

That introduces the idea of functional groups.

 

Did you mention valency? Carbon is tetravalent (has a valency of 4).

It readily joins to other carbon atoms with a single double or triple bond.

It can join with other elements, notably hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur and the halogens (chlorine bromine iodine etc) to form a 'sub molecules' called functional groups that appear gain and again.

Carbon generally participates in covalent bonding. In order to form ionic compounds (it does) it combines with other elements into one of these functional groups to form the cation or anion.

 

A simple example is the hydroxyl group OH. This is connected to a carbon atom by a single bond C-OH and forms the basis of the alcohol functional group.

 

Functional groups are often indicated by the letter R

 

Another important function group is CH3, the methyl group

 

That is one carbon atom connected to 3 hydrogen atoms, as shown in Fig1.

 

If you were keeping count you would note that this leaves one carbon bond unaccounted for.

 

If this fourth bond is connected the hydroxyl group as above we have the simplest alcohol - methanol as in Fig2

 

If instead of a hydroxyl group we connect just a single hydrogen we get a compound containing only carbon and hydrogen.

These are called hydrocarbons (note the o does not stand for oxygen or water here) and this example as in Fig3 is the simplest and called methane.

 

Alternatively we can connect our methyl functional group to another methyl functional group as shown inf Fig4.

We then obtain the second hydrocarbon, called ethane, in the very important hydrocarbon gas series that we get from natural gas and oil.

 

This leads directly on to another speciality of organic chemistry. - Homologous Series.

 

When you a compound, you get many, may be thousands, more by simply changing the functional group each time.

These are called homologous series and the hydrocarbon gas one above goes, methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane etc which are called the alkanes.

 

These all have a common formula CnH(2n+2) where n is 1,2,3,4......

 

So I finish where I started.

 

Stoichiometry is very very very important.

 

attachicon.giforgchem1.jpg

 

Hope this is a good start for you.

 

Edit

Now to get a beer, see if you can use the above information to put functional groups together to get drinkable alcohol. called ethanol.

 

This should tell you something about naming between different series as well. Compare the alkanes and the alcohols.

 

 

 

Thanks for all the help as usual and yes we did do quite a bit of talking about my issues with stoichiometry last semester! haha

Edited by FrankP

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