Basic Organic Chemistry and Isomerism Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Basic Organic Chemistry and Isomerism Deck (19):

What is the general formula for a compound?

An algebraic formula which can decribe any member from a family of compounds (i.e. CnH2n for alkenes).


What is the empirical formula for a compound?

The simplest whole-number ratio of atoms of each element in a compound.


What is the molecular formula for a compound?

The actual number of atoms of each element, with any functional groups indicated (i.e. C2H5OH).


What is the structural formula for a compound?

The formula which shows the molecule carbon-by-carbon (i.e. CH3CH2COOH).


What is the displayed formula for a compound?

The formula which shows how the atoms in that compound are arranged and the bonds between those atoms.


What is the skeletal formula for a compound?

The skeletal formula only shows the carbon chain, with any functional groups indicated.


The defining feature of structural isomers is...?

A different structural arrangement.


The defining feature of stereoisomers is...?

Different spatial arrangements.


What are the three types of structural isomerism?

Positional (different functional group position), chain (different main chain length), and functional (different functional group).


What do double bonds create in terms of isomerism? 

Geometrical isomers - double bonds restrict rotation, meaning that the molecules are in a fixed arrangement about each carbon involved in the double bond.


What is the meaning of 'entgegen'?



What is the meaning of 'zusammen'?



What is an enantiomer?

An optical isomer - isomers which are mirror images of one another and cannot be superimposed over one another, regardless of their orientation.


What is the key feature of optical isomers?

A chiral carbon atom - a carbon which is bonded to four different groups.


How can enantiomers be distinguished from one another?

They rotate plane-polarised light in opposite directions.


What is a racemate?

A mixture of equal quantities of optical isomers of one compound. 


Why do achiral compounds react to produce racemic mixtures?

Because there is an equal chance of each enantiomer forming in reaction.


Why is it that an apparently harmless enantiomer could cause damage to the human body?

Because the body is sometimes able to convert the harmless enantiomer into its harmful enantiomer - enantiomers can have different biological effects.