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Organic Chemistry Reactivity Rules: Time to react! Virtual Lab

Determine the outcome of a chemical reaction between two organic compounds by mastering the fundamental rules of reactions in organic chemistry.

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Organic Chemistry Reactivity Rules: Time to react!

About this Simulation

Did you know that as you’re reading this text, you are interacting with at least one organic compound? Organic compounds are everywhere, and the field dedicated to exploring their structure, properties and reactions is called organic chemistry. In this simulation, you will explore the core principles of organic chemistry reactions to understand the fundamentals of reactivity.

How do electrons determine the reactivity of molecules?

Bonds: organic compounds are made of the number of atoms connected by chemical bonds. In your first mission, you will find the connection between electronegativity, polarity, and electron density. You will see how these concepts determine the reactivity of the molecule via the electron distribution in the molecule.

How do organic compounds react?

You may already know by heart the outcome of some chemical reactions, but here we dive into the what’s and why’s. You will be shown an uneven distribution of electrons within an organic compound, and tasked to identify the relevant nucleophile, electrophile, and leaving group. Once you’ve got the hang of this, you’ll be well on your way to determine the outcome of many chemistry reactions! This simulation will help you to understand the fundamentals of how organic compounds react, instead of simply showing you what the reaction produces.

How many types of reactions are there in organic chemistry?

At this point, you have already learned the step-by-step mechanism of an organic chemistry reaction and determined the product of the reaction. You will engage with an assortment of chemical reactions, namely additions, substitutions, and eliminations. The next time you encounter organic compounds, will you able to predict how they will react?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Explain the concept of electronegativity and how the distribution of electrons across a molecule determines its reactivity

  • Describe what a nucleophile, electrophile and leaving group are, and identify them

  • Describe an organic chemical reaction and its mechanism using the correct terminology and notations (lonepairs, curly arrows, reactants, reagents, products, catalysts, intermediates, transition states)

  • Draw reaction mechanisms using the correct notations

  • Explain the differences between the three fundamental types of reactions: Addition, elimination and substitution

  • Describe the typical reactivity of the main functional groups

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

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