Monday, January 30, 2006

Lecture Summary 1/29: Formal Charges & Redox

We discussed how formal charges are a useful predictive tool, particularly for organic compounds. The charges are not real, in the sense that they cannot be experimentally determined, but the formalism is very useful in organizing and understanding organic reactions. We began to consider oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, noting that Ag+ ions react with metallic copper to produce metallic silver and Cu2+ ions. Breakfast cereal manufacturers take advantage of the redox reaction of metallic iron with acid to produce bioavailable Fe2+ ions!

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