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Author: Subject: Understanding the mystical magic of organic chemistry
coalminecanary
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 16:24
Understanding the mystical magic of organic chemistry


Hello SM.

This is a wonderful place, heaps of information on syntheses, personal experience with reactions, and general nerdiness. I think we all appreciate that.

I'm currently studying chemistry at school, however we just finished inorganic chemistry this year, and that was a piece of cake. Not sure why that took a whole year to go through.

Next year, we'll be doing some basic inorganic chemistry, however I'd like to start ahead and learn the basic (and perhaps the intermediate?) stuff.

Now here's the issue: I see so many explanations on "well it's attacking clorine on the 6th carbon etc. etc." and some people will comment with stuff like "well we can reduce aldehyde this using the [some german name] reduction". It annoys me that I do not understand the mechanisms behind any of this.

So here's the question: where do I start? Is there a site or a book or something that'll step-by-step present the various theories of organic chemistry in a logical fashion?

Thank you so much, I really enjoy my stay on this forum.
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HeYBrO
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 16:40


http://www.masterorganicchemistry.com also there is a kahn academy page just for chemistry. http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu is also very good.
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coalminecanary
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 16:50


Quote: Originally posted by HeYBrO  
http://www.masterorganicchemistry.com also there is a kahn academy page just for chemistry. http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu is also very good.


Thank you! I'll take a look. :)
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Richard3050
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 18:58


If you are ok with putting in the work, try buying the textbook 'Organic Chemistry' McMurry. It does a good job introducing organic chemistry concepts.



"Science knowledge only adds to the excitement... I don't understand how it subtracts."
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 19:00


https://www.youtube.com/user/Franklychemistry/videos

Also watch everything from chemplayer. You will get a really good idea of technique, especially temperature control.




10 new (short) videos on sum_lab. Junior science physical and chemical change series.
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coalminecanary
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 19:02


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
https://www.youtube.com/user/Franklychemistry/videos

Also watch everything from chemplayer. You will get a really good idea of technique, especially temperature control.


I've watched every single ChemPlayer video since early on. I've caught onto some basic concepts.
ChemPlayer is one of the reason why I'm now assembling my own lab, but it's hard here in Scandinavia where law enforcement is VERY strict, because they wanna keep a clean slate with -potential- drug manufacturers.

@Textbook, thanks for suggesting it. :) I'll take a look at it.
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Texium
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 08:10


One thing that's definitely important to get early on when learning about organic chemistry is how to name organic compounds. If you're not literate in the language of organic chemistry, it will be a lot harder for you later on. Memorize the rules of carbon numbering, learn the names of all of the common functional groups, and practice naming simple compounds systematically. I think it's actually really fun.



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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 09:01


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
https://www.youtube.com/user/Franklychemistry/videos

Excellent find j_sum1 !

Watched about 3 so far and they seem really clear.

Acid test will be trying to apply the principles ...

[Edited on 4-7-2016 by aga]




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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 09:36


On a related note, I want to know what are the prerequisites for learning organic chemistry? I currently have completed AP Chem and am trying to figure out where to go from there. Would organic chem be a good next step?
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 09:44


Yeah, organic chemistry would be the next class you'd take. I took AP chemistry in high school and this fall I'll be taking organic chemistry because my test score allowed me to exempt college general chemistry. I'm really looking forward to it, but I've taught myself a fair amount of organic chemistry already so I don't think I'll learn a ton of new stuff.



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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 13:07


I'm going into AP Chem next year. How is it like? It's a new class at my school.
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 16:49


It's pretty much the same as college level General Chemistry. Really, it's very similar to basic high school chemistry, but there is more math involved and you build on the stuff you did previously. A couple of things that were actually quite useful that I remember learning include balancing redox reactions, Le Chatelier's Principle, and calculating pH changes in buffer solutions. You should also get to do some pretty cool, more advanced labs if you have a good teacher. It touches a bit on organic chemistry too (learning carbon numbering and common functional groups).



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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 18:51


From zts16:
"I'm really looking forward to it, but I've taught myself a fair amount of organic chemistry already so I don't think I'll learn a ton of new stuff."

Please do not take such a short view. You will find much new to learn and absorb. You will be amazed at how understanding the physical chemistry aspects of organic chemistry will open up the doors to an intimate understanding of the science.

A quote from "The Spirit of Organic Chemistry" which says so much about the science:

"It is to be regretted that organic chemistry is commonly regarded as a labyrinthine
specialty, not only among brother scientists, but among brother chemists as well. Organic chemistry is the physiology of molecular science. No branch of human activity can vie with its rounded symmetry and completeness, can reduce so large a
percentage of its facts to law and order, or can approach nearer to the ultimate mystery of matter. And so the study of systematic progress and development which it offers should become an open book to every man of science."

AvB
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 19:37


For people who might stumble across this thread in the future: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvNn3nXnH9YEtHEymb7MX6A
This channel is REALLY good.
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 20:38


Quote: Originally posted by AvBaeyer  
From zts16:
"I'm really looking forward to it, but I've taught myself a fair amount of organic chemistry already so I don't think I'll learn a ton of new stuff."

Please do not take such a short view. You will find much new to learn and absorb. You will be amazed at how understanding the physical chemistry aspects of organic chemistry will open up the doors to an intimate understanding of the science.

A quote from "The Spirit of Organic Chemistry" which says so much about the science:

"It is to be regretted that organic chemistry is commonly regarded as a labyrinthine
specialty, not only among brother scientists, but among brother chemists as well. Organic chemistry is the physiology of molecular science. No branch of human activity can vie with its rounded symmetry and completeness, can reduce so large a
percentage of its facts to law and order, or can approach nearer to the ultimate mystery of matter. And so the study of systematic progress and development which it offers should become an open book to every man of science."

AvB
Oh, don't get me wrong: I'd love to learn new things. I'd be very happy if the course will cover all kinds of stuff that I do not yet know. Would it not be better to go into it with somewhat lowered expectations, and be pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be more rigorous and interesting than I had expected than to have unreasonably high expectations and be disappointed?



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[*] posted on 8-7-2016 at 01:22


Depends on what type of school you are visiting at the moment. If this is still basic chemistry or like an University lecture. The usual order you learn the basics of organic chemistry was (for me and most books actually)

Alkanes (linear, isomerism, cyclic, ...) -> Alkenes ( cis/trans, polyenes, conjugation,...) -> Alkynes

Then you start oxidizing them

Alcohols (primary, secondary, ... Diols, Triols, Sugars) ---ox--> Aldehydes and Ketons

---ox---> Carboxylic Acids and Esters.


These are like the very basics of organic chemistry you should start with slowely building up from an Alkane to an Ester. Now from here it pretty much ends and is up to your teacher/professor. Various reactions can be topics, including Heteroatoms, couplings, hydroxylations, ... there is a lot of stuff to learn especially if you focus on Stereochemistry.

And even for the very basics I mentioned above you can start (after you fully understood them) to postulate either mechanisms, catalysts or descide upon your knowledge of for example mesomeric or inductive effects, electro- or nucleophile, ... what makes this reaction work, progress and how you can find alternatives.

And this is how you come up with the stuff that is discussed here like can "..." oxidzide or reduce and Aldehyde for example. Sometimes this can be a tricky question and it's not something easy. I remember we had a lecture on reducing abilities of Hydrides and looked for various facts how to shape the Hydride-Environmet to make it reduce selectively. Sometimes those are really easy things if you find the connections to the very basics.

So depending on your knowledge you should first look at the stuff mentioned above and then, if you descide to do more on for example synthesis design you can either start with different approaches or fully understand the mechanisms behind the basics and design something completely new.


For books ... well I guess school books or summaries for finals are quite usefull for the basics. For the hardcore organic chem this isn't easy to descide at all. Just to quote some of my organic chem prof. there are no good books ! For us Inorganic Chemists there are lovely collection but much of the very famous organic literature is actually full of mistakes. Sometimes completely ignoring the very basics ! There are famous authors who were known to have taken drugs while writing those books for example (quote of my Prof.). So without getting on the wrong side of any org. chemist here, the books are just outdated mostly. Websites or discussions might be far better. Or you combine many books and compare them.



Edit:

I just looked through some online lectures. They often put in stuff way too early. I would completely change some stuff in there.

Maybe we should put up like a little list of how to get started into organic chemistry. I would be willing to look through my notes from 3 years of Organic University lectures and school and put up some notes. But I cannot sum this stuff up. On one hand it's too much work on the other hand...I'm not an Organic Chemist. But this would be enough for anyone to get the key terms first.

[Edited on 8-7-2016 by fluorescence]
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[*] posted on 8-7-2016 at 15:21


Following the trend, there is a little known channel for o-chem that I really like. I believe he's a professor and makes videos for his students.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2AEH0zA0O_w9Sf_RMMmfzA/vid...




Lol nerds
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