Tips and Tricks on General Organic Chemistry


Atoms prefer filled valence shells.
This rule explains why atoms make bonds, and the type of bonds created. A corollary is that centers of electron density (bonds and lone pairs of electrons) repel each other so they stay as far apart as possible. This latter rule, the basis for the so-called VSEPR model, explains 3-dimensional molecular structure.

Understanding electronegativities :The electrons are generally in higher amounts around the more electronegative atoms (e.g. F, Cl, O, N). The electronegative atoms pull electron density away from the less electronegative atoms (e.g. C, H) to which they are bonded. Thus, understanding electronegativities provides a simple method of deciding which portions of a molecule have a relatively high electron density, and which portions have a relatively low electron density.

Steric interactions (atoms bumping into each other) can prevent reactions by keeping the reactive atoms away from each other.

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Chemical Thermodynamics
Chemical Bonding
Atomic Structure
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