Syllabus as web page

Organic Chemistry I – NSC12, 4 credits Fall 2010


Instructor Todd Smith
Location Science 216
Days, Time T, Th, 11:30 – 12:50
Text Organic chemistry, 6e, Paula Bruice


Course Description

Carbon can form bonds with itself and almost all of the other elements, giving rise to an enormous variety of carbon-containing molecules. Early organic chemists struggled with the structure of one – benzene - until Friedrich Kekulé solved the puzzle in a dream: he saw the carbon atoms “twisting in a snake-like motion. But look! What was this? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tale, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes.” In this course we study the chemistry of these carbon-based compounds – their structures, properties and reactions. This is an intermediate chemistry course and is essential for all biologists, chemists, pre-meds, and pre-vets. Many examples include descriptions and mechanisms of biological reactions.


Course Goals

  • Learn that organic chemistry is not about memorization, but rather it is based on a series of fundamental chemistry concepts that can be applied systematically to all carbon-based compounds
  • Learn to illustrate a reaction mechanism using “arrow-pushing”
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Observe how concepts from organic chemistry underlie numerous biochemical processes


Readings & assignments

Chapters from text; homework problems from text; exams – including a cumulative final exam


Grading Policy

Students are expected to attend all lectures and to complete all reading and homework assignments. There will be two ‘take-home’ exams, weekly homework assignments, a paper, and a final exam. The one-hour exams are worth 100 points each, the homework 20 points each, the paper is worth 100 points, and the final is worth 100 points. The grade received in the course will be the ratio of points earned over points possible: 90% & above = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D. Diligent and conscientious participation in class and on assignments will boost borderline grades to the higher grade.

If extenuating circumstances will prevent you from taking an exam notify me as soon as possible so that we can make alternative arrangements for administering the exam.


Paper assignment – due Tuesday, 11/22/10

The topic for your paper is hydrocarbons in biological systems: the Deepwater Horizon oil leak rapidly released millions of gallons of “crude oil” into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientist debate what effects this material will have on aquatic organisms in the Gulf. What do you think? What’s in crude oil? Does it degrade in seawater? Do certain fractions accumulate more readily in living systems?

You may narrow down your topic by picking a particular organism or type of organism (e.g., bacteria, shrimp, migratory birds), but you must take a clear position in your paper and defend that position based on your research: either the oil presents no real danger, or it may have a profound impact on the health of organisms in the Gulf. In your paper you must cite at least two secondary sources (i.e., textbooks) from the Rice Aron Library, and at least two articles from peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The citation format you should use is that of the Council of Science Editors, as described at: http://library.osu.edu/sites/guides/csegd.php.



Estimated schedule of weekly topics

Week of

Week #

Topic

Chapter

8/30

0

Intro class

Preface, 1

9/6

1

Review: bond formation, acid-base chemistry, and the strengths of different acids

1

9/13

2

A brief discussion of nomenclature – making sense of naming conventions

2

9/20

3

Introduction to alkenes; curved arrow notation; review of kinetics & thermodynamics

3

9/27

4

Selected reactions of alkenes;

Paper discussion with librarians

4

10/4

5

Stereochemistry: 3D arrangements of carbon atoms;

Take-home exam 1 – Friday 10/8

5

10/11

6

Alkynes: triple bonds in hydrocarbons

6

10/18

7

Resonance and delocalized electrons; thermodynamic vs. kinetic “control” of a reaction

7

10/25

8

A substitution reaction can be bimolecular (SN2) or unimolecular (SN1)

8

11/1

9

Comparisons between SN1 and SN2 reactions: stereochemistry, competition, and solvents

8

11/8

10

There are two common elimination reactions: one is unimolecular (E1) and the other is bimolecular (E2)

Take-home exam 2 – Friday 11/12

9

11/15

11

The “kinetic isotope effect” and determining details of a reaction mechanism

9

11/22

12

Reactions of alcohols & alcohol metabolism;

Papers due Tuesday 11/23

10

11/29

13

The Grignard reagent: carbon as a nucleophile, and the creation of new carbon-carbon bonds

11

12/6

14

Radicals are very reactive, alkanes are not – let’s combine them!

12

12/9, 10


Reading days


12/11,13,14


Final exams


Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM