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Test me on organic chemistry

  1. Jan 22, 2007 #1
    Hi,

    I'm encountering organic chemistry for the first time in high school and am finding it quite exciting. I'm using Morrison and Boyd as the text. I was wondering if you could test me with a few synthetic problems or product prediction that will challenge my understanding and application? I love the way complex multistep syntheses challenge my ingenuity and ability to apply knowledge of mechanisms. Throw them at me! Thanks.

    The topics I've covered are alkanes (free-radical substitution, oxidation, useless as synthetic tools I'm told), alkyl hallides (nucleophillic aliphatic substitution, elimination, Corey-House coupling), alkenes and alkynes (electrophillic addition, free-radical addition, oxidative cleavage, hydroboration-oxidation, metal-actylide coupling, conjugative effects of double bonds), alicyclic compounds, benzene (electrophillic aromatic substitution). I haven't yet covered alcohols (except SN and E of OH-), carbonyls or nitro compounds. I've not covered chiral synthesis either.

    I will also like to take this chance to ask if there are any good textbooks out there better than M&B at roughly the same level. The following passage by an Amazon reviewer from his review of Solomon's cannonical text strikes very close to my heart:-

    "...overall the books are criminally incoherent, much due to that substance classes rather than reaction classes form the "basis" of the chapter division [note: NOT "...the basis of the 'organization'...", since organization can only exist when the reaction classes are the basis for the discussions, the one thing that brings order to organic chemistry!]; never does anyone take a more "holistic" or just "passioned" view, to actually demonstrate the monumental versatility of the concepts discussed - and exactly the same highly vital information is left out, about how to interpret or control all the hundreds of written consecutive equillibria, or what difference it makes to use the methoxide rather than the ethoxide, or why 70% phosphoric acid is used (or, indeed, what is meant by 70%), or why precisely 780K and not 775Kis needed, or how you actually carry out a single reaction and what apparatus should be used, or how you handle and isolate the substances; or how you name those compounds that show up later than the first few chapters (when all the authors suddenly forget the previous efforts of showing completeness in presentation)."

    I'm thinking of getting Peter Sykes. I'm told that it's a bible of organic chemistry. Will it be good for me? Thanks again for your help.

    Molu
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2007 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Look into the book by Graham Solomons.
     
  4. Jan 23, 2007 #3
    The above review was written in criticism of Solomon's book. Could you tell me in what ways it differs from M&B? Thanks.

    Molu
     
  5. Jan 25, 2007 #4

    Gokul43201

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    Oops! Didn't read that part of the OP. When I'd looked at Solomons' book a long time ago, I came away with a similar opinion, and even shared it in some other thread here. I had subsequently heard that newer editions of Solomons were much improved, but have not verified this by myself.

    PS: Found this in my bookmarks; can't recall why it's there though: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131699571,00.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  6. Jan 25, 2007 #5
    conversion of benzene into N-propylphenylamine, propane and benzene as your only organic reagents
     
  7. Jan 25, 2007 #6

    GCT

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  8. Jan 26, 2007 #7
    I have the 8th edition of Solomon's and honestly I didn't bother with reading to much of it, I found my professors lecture notes much more useful as the book didn't go into to much of the theory. I started off faithfully reading each chapter but quickly realized I was wasting my time. I think the review of the book that was posted still applies to the newer editions (I think the 8th is the newest edition?)
     
  9. Jan 26, 2007 #8
  10. Jan 29, 2007 #9
    That's somewhat of a role reversal! Here, class notes are usually summaries of textbooks covering important derivations, definitions and problem-solving techniques. They rarely cover more theoretical ground than the textbooks. My main problem is that my teacher is an inorganic chemist and hates everything about organic chemistry and chemists. While he covers inorganic (and thermodynamical parts of physical) in exquisite detail, he tries to gloss over the organic part, refusing to discuss mechanisms and complicated substrates. Does your professor make his notes available online?

    I tried the legendary March's Organic a few days ago, but didn't find it to my taste. It seemed more like an encyclopedia than a textbook to me, discussing countless reactions serially with extensive references to literature. Not really for my purpose. I've borrowed a Solomon (6th edition) from my teacher, and it seems very similar to M&B, at least in organisation. I've also started on the famous Peter Syke's Guidebook to Organic Reaction Mechanism. But of course it can not serve the role of a stand-alone textbook. Has anyone here tried Marye Anne Fox? Thanks for the help.

    Molu
     
  11. Jan 29, 2007 #10
    These are very good resources but the problem is that they cover the entirety of an introductory OChem course. But we have the important redox chemistry of alcohols and carbonyls at 12th grade, I only know the reactions mentioned in my first post. That's why I was asking if you knew any challenging synthesis that used only these beginning reactions. Thanks.

    Molu
     
  12. Jan 29, 2007 #11

    GCT

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    Just hold your horses, you're going to get plenty of challenging problems as the topics become more complicated, everything is pretty much easy at the point in the standard organic text where you're at.
     
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