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Was going to include this in my last post but it was getting too big. Note how the SN1, E1, and alkene addition reactions all pass through a carbocation intermediate. Here’s how they’re related.Starting with an alkene, adding strong acid gets us...
Here’s a summary of what we talk about in this post.Reminder: Hydrohalic acids (HX) plus alcohols give substitution products…We just saw that treating an alcohol with a strong hydrohalic acid – think HCl, HBr, or HI – resulted in the...
WASHINGTON – In a speech at a black-tie meeting of the Periodic Table of the Elements last night,President Obama called on all atoms to sharetheir electrons more equally.“Electron inequality represents the biggest problem that atoms facetoday. Disturbingly,...

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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...