Ch_322a_4.02 - Shapes of Alkanes Alkanes assume shapes...

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Shapes of Alkanes Alkanes assume shapes imposed by the tetrahedral geometry at each carbon atom. Even "straight-chain" alkanes are not straight. The alkane chains take on a zigzag geometry. tetrahedral carbon centers CH 3 CH 2 CH 2 CH 3 butane (straight-chain) CH 3 -CH-CH 3 CH 3 isobutane (branched)
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Constitutional Isomers From C 4 and higher, alkanes exist as constitutional isomers. The number of constitutional isomers goes up rapidly with the carbon number, as shown in the table below. Constitutional Isomers Molecular Formula Number of Isomers C 4 H 10 C 5 H 12 C 6 H 14 C 7 H 16 C 8 H 18 C 9 H 20 C 10 H 22 . . C 20 H 42 2 3 5 9 18 35 75 . . 366,319 Butane and isobutane have the same molecular formula, C 4 H 10 , but different bond connectivities . Such compounds are called constitutional isomers .
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A Systematic Naming System Because of the dramatic increase in C-C connectivity possibilities with increasing carbon number, it is necessary to have a systematic naming system that unambiguously identifies the carbon structure.
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