# Did anyone actually enjoy organic chem?

1. Dec 10, 2004

### so-crates

Well, did you? If so, why?

2. Dec 10, 2004

### dextercioby

In the 8-th and the 9-th grade i was by far the best student in the Chemistry Competitons intterschool at local level and i would find INORGANIC CHEMISTRY REALLY ATTRACTIVE.But in the 10-th grade everything tooka giant turn,because i saw how stinky (i.e. "boring,difficult to memorize formulas with 20-30 atoms,...") organic chemistry was,so i forgot everything about my heroics in the chemistry contests,and decided to reconsider my ideas and moved towards physics.And when i realized that physics would be nothing but words without mathematical rigurosity,mathematics became another priority.
Though 7 years have passed from the times when i was on top of (my) world with my chemistry knowledge,that doesn't mean i have forgotten everything from what i knew.

Daniel.

3. Dec 11, 2004

### chem_tr

I have found an interesting relationship between organic chemistry and foreign language learning ability; it may sound weird to you, but organic chemistry is another language to write and speak. It has rules, syntax, and even "grammar".

I'm trying to say that if you are not very good at learning and using foreign languages, you may suffer from learning organic chemistry easily.

4. Dec 11, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Now I know why I suck at organic. :yuck:

5. Dec 11, 2004

### gravenewworld

The reason I loved organic--you actually learn how to make things. Of all the other chemistry I have taken inorganic, physical, general, you hardly learn how to synthesize things in those courses. Organic is actually about sythesizing desired materials.

6. Dec 11, 2004

### poolwin2001

The Only Problem is that no one has been able to give a uniform rule to all the objects.
We give a rule ,say it is apllicable for these n things and later say that its not apllicable to 2n things.
Unfortunately things in test tube behave differently from those in paper.
Maybe that's the charm of Organic chemistry :!!)

7. Dec 11, 2004

### Gonzolo

1. Studying with the plastic models.
2. The professor had every stereotypical characteristic of an "evil wizard".
3. Getting better marks than those majoring in the field.

Basically, I was lucky to have a prof who was very "physics-oriented". He emphasized understanding how molecules were shaped and formed according to energy wells. It was clear that naming the molecules was not the main objective of his course.

8. Dec 11, 2004

### so-crates

Yeah I understand this part, but the problem is I don't understand why we have to memorize all the different reactions. It was interesting up until the point where we started doing reactions. Then the textbook became about as interesting as reading a county's deed transfer records. I would read a section and do the problems, then a day later look at it again and it l would look like ancient greek. Sometimes courses of reactions seem arbitrary. I could figure everything out referring to the textbook, but of course you can't have that on an exam.

9. Dec 11, 2004

### Juche

I have my finals for organic I on thursday, I should get a B+ or A- in the class.

Luckily I had an 'easy' professor in the sense that she tested us on the things she taught us instead of teaching vague principals then testing us on how we could use them in novel situations. On our tests average scores were in the 76-85% range and that is with no bonus points or a curve.

I thought it was a fun subject for the same reason gravenewworld did you can make new chemicals out of old one and you can manipulate chemical bonds and functional groups which to me is the core of chemistry (turning one molecule into another).

10. Dec 11, 2004

### ShawnD

Brief overview of first semester at college.

Organic:
-Mixing A and B will create C because ........ , or D because ....... , or E because ......
-Temperature affects the reaction this way because.......
-We name it this way because....
-Toluene is safer than benzene because......
-A is an ortho/para director because.....
-A is an activating group because......
-Adding acid or base will make the reaction happen this way because....
-This reaction will be trans instead of cis because.....

Inorganic:
-Expanded octet is like this, but we can't tell you why.
-Orbitals work like this, but you'll never ever need to know this so you just sleep in and skip this class.
-Some generic stuff about excited states and resonance that you probably learned in grade 12
-A brief look at the Bohr model of the atom even though the current model is the quantum model
-When drawing structures of things like chlorate, you have to do some stupid formal charge calculations instead of just doing it the organic way where you draw the number of bonds certain atoms are supposed to have, then add lone pairs to whichever atoms need them. To draw the chlorate ion the way you would in organic chem, with no previous knowledge of how it should look, it will take maybe 20 seconds and you won't need to write out any formulas. To draw it the way they teach in inorganic, it may take you several minutes because you're supposed to do some guessing then formal charge calculations. It's just retarded.
-Some stuff about acids and bases you probably learned in grade 12
-"Complexes" are a very important part of lab work because they usually have distinct colors, but we're never told why such complexes exist, or how to predict which complex will be made.

Simply put, organic chemistry has definite answers with logical reasons, whereas inorganic chemistry is just "uh... we don't know".

Last edited: Dec 11, 2004
11. Dec 11, 2004

### so-crates

Well heres the problem I have with organic. See if you can answer these questions without looking anything up:

Cyclopentene $$\xrightarrow[CHCl_3]{KOC(CH_3)_3}\ \$$ ?

4-Octyne $$\xrightarrow[NH_4Cl]{Li, C_2H_3Nh_2,-78^o\ C. }\ \$$ ?

$$R_3B \xrightarrow{H_2_O_2, aq.,\ NaOH,\ 25^o\ C}$$ ?

12. Dec 11, 2004

### dextercioby

Well,so-crates,that is just about the reason i quit chemistry.Organic chemistry is horrible. :yuck:

13. Dec 12, 2004

### chem_tr

So-crates, your questions are really challenging. It is hard to solve them without looking anywhere else. However, let me say something about them, and other members will contribute and we'll develop a reasonable solution, I think.

The first one involves carbocations and carbanions, I think. Potassium tertiary butoxide is a very powerful base, causing chloroform to give KCl and H2 and a new reagent, dichlorocarbene; which is very reactive. So it resembles Reimer-Tiemann reaction, in which we synthesize aldehydes with :CCl2 by subsequent hydrolysis. It is not important where you put the (+) and (-) charges here, so just pass the double bond into a carbon, and make :CCl2 attack to the positive side. So I expect at the end an aldehyde with hydrolysis.

The second question here again involves shifting of the bond to give a carbocation and carbanion; here, lithium takes a proton from aminoethylene, to give another amide anion (NH-). This will attack the carbocation, and quenching with ammonium (here it means H+ will supply the needed (+) charge on previously formed (-) carbon. At last, a secondary aminobutadiene-type product will possibly be formed.

The third question is really weird, since I expect there an alkene to pursue an anti-Markownikow addition, but you've only written the peroxide and the borane. I suspect an alcohol and borate (BO3- will be present, but I am not sure what will be produced. Let's think about this as well as the others, since I may be wrong about them.

Last edited: Dec 12, 2004
14. Dec 12, 2004

### movies

I, for one, really did like organic chem. in college and I am continuing my pursuit of organic chemistry today. Maybe I'm just weird though. I like organic because you can make things. I also like it because you can really see what is happening when you draw out mechanisms, etc. I agree with the others who have said that they couldn't stand all the math and derivations of equations, etc. That sort of stuff never excited me and it seemed far removed from what the atoms themselves were actually doing. I really enjoy figuring reactions out based on their mechanism.

I also think that mechanisms are the key to learning all the reactions you need to know. There are thousands of "named reactions" out there, but most of them have a relativelt simple mechanism. If you learn a few general mechanisms you will be able to predict the products of lots of reactions even if you haven't ever seen them before. How cool is that?! Okay, so I guess I am just a big dork.

But I digress.

I like chem_tr's approach to the above questions. I think that you do indeed form the dichlorocarbene in the first reaction. Carbenes frequently react with alkenes to form cyclopropanes, so that is what I would expect here. Upon hydrolysis the ketone could probably be formed as well, similar to what chem_tr suggested.

For the second reaction, those look like Birch reduction conditions, which would reduce the alkyne to the alkene, but vinyl amine is a very unusual solvent for that (typically the solvent is ammonia). The product would be the more theremodynamically stable alkene: trans.

Chem_tr is on the right track for the third one. This is the second step of a hydroboration/oxidation of an alkene. Typically after the hydroboration of the alkene you end of with an alkyl boron species which is then oxidized by H2O2/NaOH to give the alcohol, in this case R-OH.

15. Dec 13, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
And by "few", you mean about 50 or so ?

16. Dec 13, 2004

### movies

Heh, nice one.