Learn the basics and conceptual understanding to ace organic chemistry in this free article. Don’t struggle! Get the facts and concepts in language thats actually understandable and organized.
First lets start out with what organic chemistry is: it is the study of compounds that contain the element carbon. This is simple enough to understand, but this leaves a huge category of compounds to study. In organic chemistry, we study all the different sub-categories of carbon containing compounds, their properties and how they interact. In this article I am going to assume you have some basic chemistry knowledge.
Organic chemistry is a huge subject, so the compounds have been broken down into sub-categories called families. The main families of organic compounds are:
First lets take a look at some of the most important molecules that you will need to understand in organic chemistry: Hydrocarbons! A hydrocarbon is simply a molecule containing a mixture of bonded carbons and hydrogens. They are broken down into groups by the types of bonds formed between the carbon molecules.
The main groups of hydrocarbons you will need to know are the Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes. These three types of hydrocarbons are separated by the types of bonds found between their carbons. An alkane will have only single bonds between its carbons. An alkene will have at least one double bond present and an alkyne will have at least one triple bond present. You can remember the distinctions between these groups by thinking of them as being alphabetical by their 4th letter. For example acomes first and alkanes have single bonds, e comes next and alkenes have at least one double bond and y comes last and alkynes have at least one triple bond.
You should also be aware that alkanes are also known as saturated hydrocarbons, because they have no carbon-carbon double or triple bonds. Alkenes are also knows as unsaturated hydrocarbons or olefins.
Here are some examples of how models and diagrams of alkanes look:
If you want to read more about alkanes click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkane
Here are some examples of how models and diagrams of alkenes look:
If you want to read more about alkenes click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkene or http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/503alkenes.html
Here are some examples of how models and diagrams of alkynes look:
If you want to read more about alkynes click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkyne
For more organic chemistry help see the links below.
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