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Principles of Molecular Resonance: Electrons like to travel | Virtual Lab

Higher Education
Chemistry
Principles of Molecular Resonance: Electrons like to travel
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About This Simulation

Learn the theory behind one of the key phenomena in organic chemistry known as molecular resonance. Observe how the electrons in a molecule can delocalize in the structure and relate molecular resonance to systems with conjugated double bonds.

Learning Objectives

  • Define what a conjugated system is and recognize atoms that are part of a conjugated system
  • Explain, with examples, why charge delocalization stabilizes molecules
  • Give examples of molecular motifs that can establish electron delocalization

About This Simulation

Level:
Higher Education
Length:
Min
Accessibility Mode:
Available
Languages:
English

Lab Techniques

  • Molecular Resonance
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Related Standards

University:
  • US College Year 1
  • US College Year 2
NGSS:
AP:
LB:
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Learn More About This Simulation

Electrons like to travel! In this simulation, you will learn about molecular resonance in organic compounds. Learn about why electron delocalization is possible through example molecular motifs and relate the phenomena to conjugated systems.

Identifying a conjugated system

What makes a conjugated system? Identify conjugation in organic molecules by acknowledging the characteristics of a conjugated double bond compared to an isolated double bond. Acknowledge the idea that conjugation and hence, molecular resonance are allowed by an extended p-orbital hybridization in planar structures. Not only will you be able to understand how to identify a conjugated structure, you will also be able to appreciate that not all atoms in an organic molecule participate in a conjugated system. You will be able to determine which atoms partake in the conjugated system.

 Resonance Structures

Take advantage of our cutting edge hologram technology to form resonance structures by moving around the electrons within the structure. Observe 3D models of the molecules and p-orbital hybridization to understand how electron delocalization and hence the formation of resonance structures is possible. Observe how the mechanisms are drawn for these structures and understand how they can show the reactivity properties of certain functional groups.

Bond rotation

Finish off the topic by observing the 3D molecule of hexatriene with the carbon atom p-orbitals visible on the structure. Observe how rotation around single bonds can give rise to various conformations of a structure and how it can disrupt a conjugated system.

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