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CHEM102: General Chemistry II

Unit 6: Organic Chemistry   Although we have devoted an entire separate course (CHEM103: Organic Chemistry) in the chemistry discipline to the subject of organic chemistry, some of its simplest and most fundamental topics will be introduced in this course as well.  If you plan to continue studying chemistry, biology, or even physics, a basic understanding of organic chemistry is essential.  Organic chemistry combines knowledge from all three fields; the lessons you learn in this course directly apply to the way our bodies function and are therefore crucial to your career as a biologist.

6.1 Properties of Carbon   Note: Organic chemistry is perhaps more aptly described as “carbon chemistry,” since all organic properties deal with carbon.  You should pay special attention to the unique properties of this element and appreciate that when we say living things are carbon-based life forms, we really mean it!

  • Reading: Boundless: “Properties of Carbon” Link: Boundless: “Properties of Carbon” (PDF)

    Instructions: Read this article, which explains carbon at the atomic level and how diverse it is physically and chemically.  Examine the bonding and atomic arrangement of carbon.  For additional support, you may visit the original Boundless page which contains supplementary flashcards, a study guide, and a quiz.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  It is attributed to Boundless, and the original version can be found here.

6.2 Major Functional Groups   6.2.1 Hydrocarbons   Note: Coal, natural gas, and petroleum are all forms of hydrocarbons.  They are the main source of fuel in the modern world.  Understanding the energy contained in these carbon-to-carbon bonds is the key to understanding why they are so important to our society.  

  • Reading: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, and Aromatics Link: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, and Aromatics (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Naming Organic Compoundsto gain a general understanding of the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) rules for naming these classes of organic compounds.  This section contains several links to practice problems with solutions.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 Alcohols   - Reading: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Alcohols Link: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Alcohols (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Alcohol Nomenclatureto gain a general understanding of the IUPAC rules to naming alcohols.  This section contains several links to practice problems with solutions that you may find useful.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.3 Organic Acids   Note: Most organic acids are not strong acids.  As such, most of them have pKa values instead of direct pH values.  Organic acids can also act as a great buffer system depending on their conjugate bases; they in part explain how our bodies adjust to changes in pH.

  • Reading: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Carboxylic Acids Link: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Carboxylic Acids (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Carboxylic Acidsto gain a general understanding of the IUPAC rules to naming carboxylic acids.  This section contains several links to practice problems that you may find useful.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.4 Amines   Note: Amines contain nitrogen, a vital element in our bodies.  Remember the Atkins diet, which suggests that eating more protein and less carbohydrates will lead to rapid weight loss?  The diet is based upon the idea that eating more protein means ingesting more amines, and our bodies process amines differently than they do carbohydrates.

  • Reading: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Amines Link: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Amines (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Aminesto gain a general understanding of the IUPAC rules to naming amines.  This section contains several links to practice problems with solutions that you may find useful.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.5 Aldehydes and Ketones   - Reading: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Aldehydes and ketones Link: Michigan State University: William Reusch’s notes on Aldehydes and Ketones (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Aldehydes and Ketonesto gain a general understanding of the IUPAC rules to naming aldehydes and ketones.  This section contains several links to practice problems with solutions that you may find useful.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3 Common Organic Reactions   6.3.1 Addition, Elimination, and Substitution   - Reading: UC Davis: ChemWiki’s “Reactions” Link: UC Davis: ChemWiki’s “Reactions” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please follow the links on this page to learn about three major classes of organic reactions.  They include electrophilic addition reactions, elimination reactions (E1 and E2), and nucleophilic substitution reactions (SN1 and SN2).  This material should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  UC Davis ChemWiki by University of Califonia, Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.  You can download a PDF version by clicking “Make PDF” at the top of the page.

6.3.2 Oxidation-Reduction   Note: In this context, oxidation does not mean “losing electrons” so much as “gaining oxygen atoms” (although the molecule undergoing oxidation in organic chemistry will lose electrons in the process).  Meanwhile, “reduction” in organic chemistry refers to the gaining of hydrogen atoms (note that the molecule will gain electrons in the process as well).

  • Reading: Towson University: Liina Ladon’s notes on Oxidation-Reduction Link: Towson University: Liina Ladon’s notes on Oxidation-Reduction (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Organic Redox Reactionsto gain a general understanding of how oxidation reduction reactions are applied to organic compounds.  This link contains sections on how to determine oxidation states for organic compounds as well as rules for balancing equations of organic compounds.  This link also provides several example problems.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.