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Thread: Organic Chemistry

  1. #1 Organic Chemistry 
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    Hi guys, in my experience so far, I keep on hearing how difficult the organic chemistry part is in first year introductory chemistry. I was just wondering if people had any personal experience or explanation as to why organic chemistry is considered one of the most difficult parts :P


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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Hi guys, in my experience so far, I keep on hearing how difficult the organic chemistry part is in first year introductory chemistry. I was just wondering if people had any personal experience or explanation as to why organic chemistry is considered one of the most difficult parts :P
    It wasn't that hard, its more memorizing a whole bunch of reactions and organic molecules and their bases. It didn't really involve much math or calculating. A lot of memorization though.


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    Alkane, Alkene, Alkyne :P Isn't it just remembering functional groups and naming conventions, so that if you're asked to draw 2,2-methylbutane you know what you're doing?
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  5. #4  
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    Yeah functional groups like:

    Alcohols R-OH

    Ethers R-O-R

    Aldehydes R-C -H
    ||
    O
    others.. Ketones, Carboxylic acids, Esters, Amines

    You have to also memorize other functional bases, like Carbonyl group, Methyl group, Hydroxyl groups, Ethyl, ect...

    We memorized numerous reactions pertaining to different function groups and bases.

    How to name organic compounds, umm... Polyethylene Polymers.. Different Hydrocarbon reactions.. Alkenes, Aromatic-hydrocarbons Alkynes, like you said, the Aliphatic hydrocarbons.. Geometric Shapes of these organic compounds.

    Stereoisomers and optical isomers..
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  6. #5  
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    mmmm yeh, i think memorising stuff comes easier to me than learning all the steps of calculating.
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  7. #6  
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    Quoted below is a PM I sent another member in response to a query about introductory organic chemistry courses, you may find the links useful:

    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon
    OK, organic chem for beginners... From what I remember the initial first year courses were pretty easy (I only found it tough when it came to doing retrosynthetic analysis and stuff like that, I was awful at it!).


    If you are really starting from scratch the link below gives revision notes for A-level (pre-university) course in org chem. This is what we would expect first year students to know before they start:


    Advanced Level Organic Chemistry UK GCE AS A2 A Level Revision Notes doc brown iphone ipad notepad notebook netbook


    I haven't used the books below myself (the series just started when I was an undergrad but the students seem to like them)


    OUP: Hornby: Foundations of Organic Chemistry - Oxford University Press
    OUP: Meakins: Functional Groups: Characteristics and Interconversio - Oxford University Press
    OUP: Maskill: Mechanisms of Organic Reactions - Oxford University Press
    OUP: Robinson: Organic Stereochemistry - Oxford University Press


    Most of the first year courses I did at Oxford were covered by this book:


    https://archive.org/details/AGuidebo...ganicChemistry


    This is also a good, accessible introductory textbook


    Organic Chemistry By John McMurry | eBay


    If you are only looking at a few hours (one course?) the Hornby and Peach Oxford Chemistry primer will probably be the sort of level for a first course, the Sykes book (while very detailed -- and if you are not a chem major most of it may not be covered) is probably the level of difficulty you could expect for later introductory courses. The McMurry book is a good general text which I think bridges the gap between high school and university quite well so it might be worth browsing through if you can get a cheap second hand copy or find it in the library.


    If you want any more help/advice let me know but bear in mind I last did any serious organic chemistry in about 1997!
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    -Deleted- Answer found
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  9. #8  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Well if there are 0.6 moles of O2- there must be 0.2 moles of Fe2O3 as there are three oxide ions in the oxide, 0.2 moles of iron oxide is ~32g
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  10. #9  
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    haha yes i just read that on yahoo answers, thanks for taking the time to reiterate though
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Hi guys, in my experience so far, I keep on hearing how difficult the organic chemistry part is in first year introductory chemistry. I was just wondering if people had any personal experience or explanation as to why organic chemistry is considered one of the most difficult parts :P
    I had a revelation about organic chemistry in my first year at university. The Australian tutor we had didn't bore us all with alkanes and alkenes etc. He just took that for granted and gave us a sheet of synthetic problems every week, i.e. "give me a reaction scheme to make such and such molecule from simple starting compounds". We had no idea what to do. So we all rushed off and bought R.O.C. Norman's synthetic organic chemistry, to get ideas on how to make these bloody things. It was amazing: by the end of the 1st year we were all able to finish the organic chemistry Prelims paper with an hour to spare and got high marks. (Mind you, on the way, I recall actually having dreams about the norbornyl cation, so obviously the poor old brain was feeling the strain at times.)

    I found synthetic routes to makings things brought it all together in a very satisfying way. Your knowledge of synthetic reactions was your toolkit and then it was a matter of looking at a molecule and seeing how to break it up into blocks you could assemble - a sort of mental puzzle. I thought it was a great way to learn. Meanwhile our colleagues at other colleges were trudging, eyes watering with boredom, through the mundanities of SN1 vs SN2 and all that shit, hahaha.
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  12. #11  
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    We had some of our organic chemistry tutorials in the Lamb and Flag, explains why I'm crap at organic chemistry...
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