Converting Between Fischer, Haworth, and Chair Forms of Carbohydrates

In this post I want to go over the three most typical forms of the carbohydrates: Fischer projection for the open-chain molecules, Haworth projections focusing on cyclic pyranoses, and your regular chair conformations. While other structures are possible (and you’re definitely going to encounter them in your course), I’m specifically going to be focusing on …

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Must-Know Reactions of Carboxylic Acids

Carboxylic acid functional group is very common in organic synthesis and in biochemical processes. Thus, knowing the reactions of carboxylic acids is a must for anyone who wants to master organic chemistry. Acid-Base Properties of Carboxylic Acids Carboxylic acids are, well, acids 😀 so they tend to dissociate giving a proton/hydronium ion and a corresponding …

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Formal Charges

Formal charges in organic chemistry is, perhaps, one of the most fundamental bookkeeping devices which is often misunderstood or neglected by students. Why Formal Charges are Important in Organic Chemistry? Knowing formal charges can help us understand the reactivity patterns in reactions, find reactive centers, and make sense out of electron flow in the mechanisms. …

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What is the Difference Between a Transition State and an Intermediate?

Understanding the difference between the transition state and an intermediate will help you in drawing the mechanisms, explaining the mechanistic differences, and understanding what exactly is going on in the reaction. So, let’s start by looking at the picture that, I’m sure, you have seen quite a few times by now: On this diagram we …

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What Is the Difference Between a Good Question and a Bad Question?

Imagine yourself doing your homework or reading the textbook and something doesn’t make sense. What would you probably do in such a case? Correct—ask your teacher. Next day you go to school, go to your teacher’s office hours or visit with them after the class, you ask your question and… you get an answer… not …

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