Friday, January 27, 2006

Lecture Summary 1/25: The 'basics' of organic chemistry - nucleophiles and electrophiles

Many organic chemistry reactions can be understood in terms of nucleophiles (molecules with lone pairs in search of partial positive charges) and electrophiles (molecules with sites that have partial positive charges that would welcome an electron pair). We looked at the synthesis of oil of wintergreen, a fragrant compound that is formed when a carboxylic acid reacts with an alcohol to produce an ester. We saw examples of using arrow to "push" electrons around to understand at a more fundamental level what is happening.

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