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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 4 Class Notes Carbon and the Chemistry of Life Page 1 Max Sauberman AP Biology Class Notes Chapter 4 Carbon and the Chemistry of Life Carbon: Carbon has six protons and four valence electrons, giving it a property called tetravalence. It likes creating four covalent bonds with four other atoms, especially with H, O, and N. It has a tetrahedral shape when bonded to four atoms. If not bonded to four other atoms, carbon compounds could be linear. It can even form ring structures (like benzyne). N, H, and O form 96% of life in addition to carbon. Organic Chemistry: Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds, which mostly contain hydrogen atoms as well. Vitalism (idea that organic compounds arise only in organisms) was disproved when scientists synthesized organic compounds, leading to a new idea called mechanism. Hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbons are organic molecules consisting of only carbon and hydrogen....
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- Spring '08