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In this post we discuss a special class of ethers that has unusually high reactivity due to their ring strain – epoxides. Here’s a summary of what we’ll talk about here:In the last post, Iwrote that ethers were quite possibly the most boring...
We’ve met alkenes before – right? Just in case you haven’t, let’s review the basics, because today’s post is going to depend on understanding a few of the most important concepts.Alkenes contain both sigma [ ] bonding formed through“head-on”...
Hey folks – its been awhile! Let me explain.It all started very innocently. In mid November I started noticing that a little bump Id had on the back of my neck for what seemed like forever had started getting sore.At first it was annoying. One Wednesday...

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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...