What is organic chemistry all about?
Learning Organic chemistry is like learning a new language in a new country. How do I know this? I have done both.
A unique aspect of this type of chemistry is that, unlike general chemistry, it requires no math. Absolutely none!
What is it all about then?
First, the students learn the basic dictionary of organic chemistry, how to name and draw various organic molecules. Then, they learn that all of the reactions happen through the movement of electrons, and therefore knowing how to move these electrons around is quite essential.
Many molecules are three dimensional, and knowing how to draw their correct orientation and how to determine it becomes important as well.
Once, the basic language is mastered we move on to reactions. Organic Chemistry is basically a science of different reactions. We start with basic reactions that are fundamental called sn1, sn2, e1 and e2. We learn the arrow mechanisms for them, how and when to use them, how to recognize them, and what products come from them.
And now to the fun part! Until the end of the year, we keep on learning new reactions, and adding them to our list. Our problems are now divided into 3 main categories: predict the products, mechanism, and synthesis.
For predicting the products, the reactants and reagents are given to us, and we have to identify the type of reaction, and draw the correct products. For mechanism questions, we are given the reactant, reagents, and product and have to use correct arrows to show what exactly happened during each step of reaction and how the product was created.
My favorite, and in my opinion most fun of them all is synthesis. In synthesis questions, we are given the reactants and products. We have to identify the correct reagents and reactions needed to make the product shown. These questions are like puzzles. We have to think steps ahead, remember all of the reactions we learned, and determine the plan of how to make products in the most efficient way. It involves creativity, and practice.
Let's learn organic chemistry together.
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