6 - Chapter 6 Giving molecular structures a name The...

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1 Chapter 6 –Giving molecular structures a name The purpose of this section is to introduce the most basic components of organic nomenclature so that you can speak the language at a rudimentary level. A detailed set of rules – called nomenclature – exists to name any organic compounds. These rules are the recommendation of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and they are devised such that every compound has a unique name according to its pattern of chemical bonding. A compound’s name begins with a carefully chosen numbering scheme for the atoms. This formal and proper numbering scheme can be helpful in describing a particular atom or set of atoms within a molecule. When we analyze chemical reactions, a numbering scheme is often very helpful; however, the proper IUPAC scheme is not essential for most of what we will do. In CHEM 232 we are mainly interested in analyzing organic reactions. Our analysis will typically involve comparing products and reactants; this comparison involves associating the atoms of the reactants with the corresponding atoms of the product. To help make this association, an atom-numbering scheme is often useful. Such a numbering scheme does not need to adhere to the systematic IUPAC rules. It is arbitrary and based on whatever method you find to be convenient. Historically, the systematic naming of a compound was important in order to uniquely identify it and record relevant information about that compound. Today, computers are able to read and interpret graphical drawings of chemical structures; thus, the skill of naming a compound is no longer of the importance that it once was. In fact, freely available computer software now has the ability to interpret a line-angle drawing and provide the name of that compound. Some programs have the ability to draw a structure, given a compound’s name. An actual screen shot of one such program is provided below. In this example, the program is being used to find the formal name of a tetrapropylene alkylbenzene sulfonate, a compound that once was used in laundry detergent. The IUPAC name is circled in the purple oval.
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2008 for the course CHEM 232 taught by Professor Vanderdonk during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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6 - Chapter 6 Giving molecular structures a name The...

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