1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Figuring out Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Structures

  1. May 14, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    In general, when presented with a problem such as write out all the primary alcohols/amines/ketones/aldehydes with this formula ________, how do I actually go about systematically figuring them out? I have seen problems with up to 8 different structures for me to figure out. How in the world do I figure it out without wasting my time drawing out a million different structures?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I am not aware of any purely systematic way. If they exist, they are buried deep in a graph theory.

    My approach would be to start with a straight chain, then to move one carbon around, then to move two carbons around and so on.

    If it makes you happy - I have never seen such questions asked on a serious exam, they are more like a step in building your awareness of all possible isomers existing in general.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted