Things Organic Students Hate

There are certain things that Organic Chemistry I students, starry-eyed and naive that they are, strongly dislike about organic chemistry. Sometimes it’s simply the way things are named. Other times it’s things that, according to our Gen Chem books, shouldn’t exist. No matter what they are, it takes us quite a long time to get over cringing every time we see them. What are these horrible things? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Eclipsed Conformations

1668px-Eclipsed_Conformation.svg

Steric and torsional strain, oh my!

ΔΔG

Don’t even make me get into it.

Carbocations

200px-Methyl_cation.svg

That’s a—you put a charge on a carbon? Whyyy??

Carbanions

651px-Carbanion_Structural_Formulae_V.1.svg

No please make it stop no more

Halonium Ions

800px-Cyclopentene-bromonium-3D-balls

Never mind! I want the carbanion back. That’s a bromine atom with two bonds and a positive formal charge. Why does that even happen?

Methylenecyclohexane

Methylenecyclohexane

Students: How do you name this?

TA: Oh, it’s easy. Use your alkene naming rules.

Students: ??? ????? ?????

Cyclononene

233px-Beta-Caryophyllen.svg

Just trying to draw that by hand…

These are just a few of the things that we, as organic n00bs, very much dislike. These will likely go the direction of expanded octets, noble gas compounds, molecular orbital theory and half-filled transition metal shells, and, by this time next semester, we won’t bat an eyelash. Still, at the moment… it’s painful.

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