Reactions and Reaction Mechanisms

Vocabulary

Brønsted-Lowry acid

compound that can donate a proton to another compound in solution

Brønsted-Lowry base

compound that can accept a proton from another compound in solution

carbocation

positively charged carbon with three bonds and no lone pairs

curved arrow

arrow that indicates the direction or movement of the electrons in a reaction

electron pushing

flow of electrons from an electron-rich site to an electron-poor site

electrophile

molecule or ion that accepts electrons to form a covalent bond

functional group

group of atoms with specific physical, chemical, and reactivity properties

heterolytic cleavage

a covalent bond that breaks and both electrons of the bond go with one atom and the other atom is left with none

homolytic cleavage

a covalent bond that breaks and each atom in the bond gets one electron from the bond breaking

initiation step

step in a radical reaction where a covalent bond breaks and produces two radical species

inorganic chemistry

discipline of chemistry that studies nonorganic (without carbon) compounds

leaving group

functional group that is able to leave a compound and usually forms a stable (weak) species

Lewis acid

electron-pair acceptor in a Lewis acid-base reaction

Lewis base

electron-pair donor in a Lewis acid-base reaction

mechanistic step

step in a reaction mechanism. The four mechanistic steps are proton transfer, nucleophilic attack, loss of a leaving group, and rearrangement.

nucleophile

molecule or ion rich in electrons that donates a pair of electrons that forms a covalent bond

organic chemistry

discipline of chemistry that studies carbons and its compounds

propagation step

step in a radical chain reaction where a reactive free radical reacts with a stable molecule to form a new free radical

radical

reactive species with one or more unpaired electrons

reaction mechanism

exact step or steps required to convert reactants into products

tautomerism

chemical equilibrium between a ketone or aldehyde and an enol

termination step

step in a radical reaction where two radicals combine to form a covalent bond and no new radicals are formed