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As you begin your study of organic chemistry, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of compounds, names, reactions, and mechanisms that confront you. The goal of this course is to organize the material and to show that most of organic chemistry consists of a few basic principles and many extensions and applications of these principles.

In Section 1: Structure and Bonding

We will review concepts from general chemistry that are essential for success in organic chemistry, such as the electronic structure of the atom, Lewis structures and the octet rule, types of bonding, electronegativity, and formal charges. Predict patterns of covalent and ionic bonding involving C, H, O, N, and the halogens. Identify resonance-stabilized structures and compare the relative importance of their resonance forms. Draw and interpret the types of structural formulas commonly used in organic chemistry, including condensed structural formulas and line–angle formulas.Predict the hybridization and geometry of organic molecules based on their bonding. Identify isomers and explain the differences between them.

In section 2: Acids and Bases and Functional Groups

We will identify the molecular features that cause compounds to be polar and to engage in hydrogen bonding. Predict general trends in physical properties such as boiling points and solubilities. Identify acids, bases, electrophiles, and nucleophiles. Compare their strengths and predict their reactions based on structure and bonding, as well as Ka and pKa values. Identify the nucleophiles and electrophiles in Lewis acid–base reactions and use curved arrows to show the flow of electrons. Identify the general classes of organic compounds.

In section 3: Structure and Stereochemistry of Alkanes

We will draw and name the isomers of alkanes, and explain the trends in their physical properties. Draw alkane conformations, compare their energies, and predict the most stable conformations. Draw and name the isomers of cycloalkanes, and explain ring strain. Draw the conformations of cycloalkanes, compare their energies, and predict the most stable conformations.

In section 4: The Study of Chemical Reactions

We will propose mechanisms and explain the steps for simple reactions such as free-radical halogenation.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Electronic structure of the atom
  2. Lewis structures
  3. Octet rule
  4. Types of bonding
  5. Electronegativity
  6. Formal charges
  7. Resonance forms
  8. Structural formulas
  9. Isomers
  10. Polarity
  11. Hydrogen bonding
  12. Boiling points
  13. Solubilities
  14. Acids
  15. Bases
  16. Electrophiles
  17. Nucleophiles
  18. Classes of organic compounds
  19. Alkanes
  20. Cycloalkanes
  21. Simple chemical reactions