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Thread: Shapes of Simple organic molecules - isomers

  1. #1 Shapes of Simple organic molecules - isomers 
    Forum Freshman
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    Hello again all,

    Where on the net can I find some good verbal descriptions of simple organic molecules?

    I have to write an essay that discusses shapes.

    I've done some searches but haven't found anything that really clicks.

    Some leads or advice would be much appreciated.


    PS: I just found out recently that I have a non-verbal learning disorder (which basically means either the right hemisphere of my brain doesn't work very good, or my corpsus callosum which connects the two halves doesn't work very good) I mention this, just because you people might find my tenacity and neediness annoying. Bear with me!


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  3. #2  
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    You won't find very much, if anything, on the "shapes" of simple organic molecules. Shape is not a practical description for a chemist.

    Simple molecules are typically described as being a straight chain (n-butane), a branched chain (isobutane), or a ring (benzene, glucose).

    (Let's not go into more complex molecules. They can be pretty weird.)

    Your essay might consist of only the first two paragraphs of this post, spiced up with illustrative examples. Nothing more need be said. If your instructor knows his stuff he will realize you understand the topic merely from those few simple sentences.

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  4. #3  
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    I went back for a second look and saw the word isomers, which was omitted from the text of your post. That changes matters a bit.

    There are a large number of classes of isomers -- too many to cover in a beginner's essay. (Did you know some compounds come in right-handed and left-handed forms?)

    Do a bit of research on structural isomers (dimethyl ether and ethanol are such a pair) and also positional isomers. Come back with your questions.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    While searching for info, try using the term 'molecular geometry.'
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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