Chemistry

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How to Name a Chemical Compound

Someone who doesn't know chemistry may think that compounds should already have names, but you know differently. The following steps take you through the process of writing the name of any chemical you're [more…]

Mole Conversion Tips for Chemistry

In a general chemistry class, you usually end up having to perform a lot of conversions involving moles (mol). Whether you're converting from moles to grams, moles to volume, or moles to particles [more…]

Discerning Differences in Solid States

In chemistry terms, solids all have less kinetic energy than their liquid or gaseous counterparts, but that doesn't mean all solids are alike. Make any such claim, and you'll instantly offend a whole class [more…]

Examining Equivalents and Normality

In the world of chemistry, not all acids and bases are created equally. Some have an innate ability to neutralize more effectively than others. Consider hydrochloric acid [more…]

10 Study Pointers for Chemistry Tests

Studying for a chemistry test can be a real challenge, but it doesn't have to be. You just need to know how to do it right. In reality, the process of studying starts long before you sit down the night [more…]

Drawing Lewis Dot Structures for Chemistry

In chemistry, drawing Lewis dot structures can be challenging, but they provide a wealth of information about the molecules they represent. Remember that Lewis dot structures are drawn for covalent [more…]

Chemistry Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Getting through a chemistry class involves a range of science skills and procedures. You use exponential and scientific notation, analyze atomic structures, name compounds, convert to and from moles, and [more…]

How to Identify Chiral Centers in a Molecule

Chiral molecules usually contain at least one carbon atom with four nonidentical substituents. Such a carbon atom is called a chiral center (or sometimes a [more…]

How to Find and Number the Longest Chain in a Branched Alkane

Alkanes are not limited to staying in a line — they can have structures that branch. When naming a branched alkane, your first step is to find and number the longest chain. [more…]

How to Identify and Order the Substituents in a Branched Alkane

When naming a branched alkane, after you locate and number the parent (longest) chain, you need to locate and identify all the substituents that stick off of the parent chain, and then order the substituents [more…]

How to Interpret and Draw the Structure of a Molecule from Its Name

It's just as important to be able to determine and draw the structure of an organic molecule from its name as it is to be able to determine the name of its structure. Although English reads from left to [more…]

How to Find the Most Stable Conformation of Cyclohexane

The first step in drawing the most stable conformation of cyclohexane is to determine — based on whether the substituents are cis or trans to one another, and based on where they're located on the ring [more…]

How to Name Alkenes

If you know how to name alkanes, adding alkene nomenclature to your repertoire is a fairly straightforward task. Whereas the names of alkanes end with the suffix [more…]

How to Identify Stereoisomers of an Alkene

Alkenes, which are molecules containing carbon-carbon double bonds, have the possibility of having stereoisomers, just as ring systems do. This is because, unlike carbon-carbon single bonds, which are [more…]

How to Use E/Z Nomenclature with Alkenes That Have Nonidentical Groups

When four nonidentical groups are attached to a double bond in an alkene, you must use the E/Z system of nomenclature to assign the stereochemistry of the double bond. [more…]

How a First-Order Substitution Reaction Occurs

A first-order (or SN1) substitution reaction occurs when one group on an organic molecule leaves and is later substituted by another group. This reaction goes through a carbocation intermediate. The S [more…]

How to Identify Alcohols and Amines in the IR Spectrum

Alcohols and amines are fairly easy to identify in the IR spectrum, based on their relative locations and shapes. The first thing you'll notice is that both of these functional groups appear [more…]

How to Identify Carbonyls, Alkenes, Alkynes, and Aromatics in the IR Spectrum

You can locate carbonyl groups, alkenes, alkynes, and aromatics in the IR (infrared) spectrum, based on their shapes and relative locations. For one thing, all of these functional groups appear [more…]

How to Recognize Chemical Equivalency and Symmetry in Hydrogens

Every hydrogen in a molecule that's in a unique chemical neighborhood will show up as a peak on a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum. Two (or more) hydrogens that have equivalent chemical neighborhoods [more…]

How to Assign R / S Configurations to Chiral Centers

Any chiral center can have two possible configurations, and these configurations are designated either R or S by convention (the letters R and S come from the Latin words for right and left, [more…]

How to Convert Alkenes to Alcohols through Hydration

Hydration, or adding water across a double bond to make an alcohol, is a reaction that's similar to the addition of a hydrohalic acid across a double bond. Two different reactions accomplish the hydration [more…]

How Alkynes Form Other Functional Groups

Alkyne reactions are similar to those of the alkenes, and these reactions use reagents similar to those used in alkene reactions. Alkynes can form a variety of functional groups, including tetrabromides [more…]

How to Use Aromaticity to Predict the Acidity and Basicity of a Ring

When dealing with aromatic compounds, you often need to predict the acidities and the basicities of double bond–containing rings, including aromatic rings. For example, you may need to determine which [more…]

How to Identify Molecular Fragmentation Patterns in Mass Spectrometry

Whether through alpha cleavage or loss of a water molecule, molecular fragmentation in a mass spectrometer tends to follow certain patterns. You can often predict what peaks will be observed in the mass [more…]

How to Measure the Strength of an Acid in an Organic Compound

In general, the strength of an acid in an organic compound is directly proportional to the stability of the acid's conjugate base. In other words, an acid that has a more stable conjugate base will be [more…]

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