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There are so many reactions! I can’t remember all the mechanisms!!What if I told you that there was a simple, two-step pattern behind seven different reactions that each work for aldehydes and ketones? By learning this key pattern, you’d therefore...
“There are just so many reactions! I can’t remember all the mechanisms!!” –distressed organic chemistry studentYes, yes there are a lot of reactions, particularly in second semester organic chemistry. But there is good news on this front:...
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, are called “anomers” in the...

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Zed Shaw teaches a course in writing Python called “Python the Hard Way“. Because the hard way is easier, he says.In the end, he’s right. If you really want to learn organic chemistry, the hard way is easier. In graduate school I had to un-learn...
Last time we talked about how some interesting electronic effects can lead to unexpected results in organic chemistry. Today we look at three examples of how steric factors can lead to unexpected products (or lack of products). The last example is a case where...
Over at Med School Odyssey, the author recently wrote about finishing Org 1, and has a lot to share about his experiences with the course. Here are some choice excerpts from that post, and from a few of his earlier posts.1. Don’t believe the hypeDont...

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A bit of a lack of exciting syntheses so far this week, so here's some methodology and random reflections and recollections.I don't mind that we don't get told the whole truth as undergraduates, because most of us can't handle the truth (well, not all of it)....
This is a loose transcript of the Syllabus Day speech I gave my Organic Chemistry I class on the first day of fall semester this week. Organic Chemistry I is the first of a two semester sequence at my small, Midwest, liberal arts university. Our five organic...
Well... this oughta cover it.I was reading comments to my reddit submission of the many oxidation states of carbon, and Aa1979 asked if the functional groups could be arranged logically according to actual chemical transformations. I replied that would be too...