Stereochemistry and Adaptability

The three dimensional nature of organic molecules is a topic that all organic chemistry courses must cover. Chairs, Newman projections, Fischer projections, rotations, conformational changes, and stereochemistry are very challenging for sophomore students to grasp—especially if this is their first exposure to the concept that structure is a key element to reactivity. That said, watching … Continue reading Stereochemistry and Adaptability

Taking the Fear Out of Lengthy Mechanisms: A Good Type of Problem from Chapter 7

Even if a student intends to devote a great amount of time and effort to studying mechanisms and to using mechanisms to understand reactions, their efforts can be easily thwarted by the sheer intimidation of relatively long mechanisms. Years ago, when I was still teaching under a functional group organization, I would hear gasps and … Continue reading Taking the Fear Out of Lengthy Mechanisms: A Good Type of Problem from Chapter 7

Molecular Modeling Kits

For many students, the three-dimensional nature of organic chemistry raises the difficulty of the course to a new level. This difficulty stems from the fact that the three dimensionality of a molecule is depicted on a two-dimensional surface using any of a variety of representations. Accepted representations include dash-wedge notation, sawhorse projections, Newman projections, Fischer … Continue reading Molecular Modeling Kits