Ch 1 - Introduction and Review

Ch 1 - Introduction and Review - 1 I ntrod uction and...

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1 Introduction and RevieV The modern definItIon of organic chemIstry Is the chemistr of caRbon compounds. What Is so specIal about caRbon tHat a whoLe branch of cHemIstry Is devoted to its compounds? UnLIke most otheR eLements, caRbon foRms stRong bonds to otheR caR- bon atoms and to a wIde vaRIety of otHeR elements. ChaIns and RIngs of caRbon atoms can be built up to foRm an endless varIety of molecuLes. ±t Is tHis dIveRsIty of carbon compounds tHat pRovIdes tHe basis foR LIfe on EaRth. ²ivIng creatures aRe composed laRgely of complex organIc compounds that seRve stRuctuRaL, chemical, oR genetIc functIons. ³he teRm organic l´teRaLLy means "deR´Ved fRom lIvIng oRganIsmsµ¶ ORIgInally, the scIence of organic chemIstRy was the study of compounds extRacted from LIvIng organisms and tHeIR natuRaL pRoducts. Compounds such as sugaR, urea, staRcH, waxes, and plant oILs weRe consIdeRed "oRganIc,· and people accepted Vitalism, the belIef that natuRaL products needed a ¸vItal foRce· to cReate them. OrganIc cHemIstry, then, was tHe study of compounds HavIng tHe vItal foRce¹ ±norganIc cHemIstRy was tHe study of gases, Rocks, and mineRals, and tHe compounds that could be made Fºom them. ±n tHe nineteentH centuRy, expeRiments sHowed tHat oRganIc compounds couLd be syntHesIzed fRom InoRganIc compounds. ±n 1828» the German chemist ¼RIedrIcH W½hLer conveRted ammonIum cyanate, made fRom ammonia and cyanic acid, to uRea simpLy by Heating it in tHe absence of oXygenµ N¾¿ ÀOCN ammonium cyanate (inorganIc) heAt -±² o II ¾ÁNÂCÃN¾Á urea ±oRgan²C³ Urea Had always come fRom LivIng oRganIsms and was presumed to contain the vital force, yet ammonIum cyanate Is InoRganIc and tHus lacks the vitaL forceµ Some chemists cLaimed that a trace of vItaL foRce fRom W½hler's Hands must have contamI- nated tHe Reaction, but most recognIzed tHe possIbilIty of synthesizing oRganIc com- pounds from InoRganIcs. Many otHeR syntheses weRe caRried out, and the v´tal foRce theory was eventualLy dIscarded. SInce ÄItaLIsm was dIspRoved In tHe eaRly nIneteenth centuRy, youÅd thInk It would be eXtInct by nowµ And youÆd be wRong! ÄItalIsm lIves on today In tHe mInds of those wHo belIeve tHat "natuRal· (plantÇdeRIved) vItamins, flavoR compounds, etcµ aRe someHow dIÈerent and more HeaLtHful tHan tHe IdentIcaL "artIÉcIal· (synthesized) compounds. 1-1 The Origins of Organic Chemistry The JÊrv´K 7 aRtIfCIal heaR±, COmpOsed LargelY OF sYN±het²C ORgaNIC mateRIals. 1
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2 Chapter 1: IntroducTion and Review One of nicotine's effects is to increase the concentratIon of dopamine, a chemical in the brain±s reward system. ReLease this chemical makes smokers feeL good and reinforces the need to smoke. nIcoTInE n N t H3 As chem±sts, we know that plant-deR²ved compounds and the synthes²zed com³ f ounds aRe ²dent²cal. Assum±ng they aRe pure, the onLy way to tell them apart ±s through 4 C dat±ng: Compounds synthes±zed from petRochem±caLs have a LoweR content of Rad²oact±ve 14 C and appear oLd because the±R ´µ C has decayed oveR t²me. Plant-der±ved
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2010 for the course CHEM 140 taught by Professor Wade during the Spring '10 term at Whitman.

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Ch 1 - Introduction and Review - 1 I ntrod uction and...

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