Organic Chemistry I

Alkanes, the simplest organic functional group

Lecture 13 on alkanes

This video has all of the components covered for this smore. You will hear my voice starting 6 seconds into the video but the screen will be blank for almost a minute.

The lectures on organic chemistry and biochemistry are recorded using powerpoints

Functional groups-where the action is!

In organic chemistry, it is a whole bunch of carbon and hydrogen. For our first type of functional group, that is all we will be dealing with...carbon and hydrogen. This group is called the alkanes and is not much fun in terms of action but you have to start somewhere and all of the other classes of organic compounds are named based on this simple class of hydrocarbons (meaning carbon and hydrogen). Alkanes are one of four hydrocarbon groups (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and aromatic hydrocarbons) but alkanes are saturated just like you have heard about in fats and it is referring to the same thing-all single bonds. The term saturated means the carbon atom is saturated with as many hydrogen atoms as possible due to the absence of double (alkenes and aromatic) or triple (alkynes) bonds.
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Nomenclature-it is all about the parent chain of carbon atoms!

Organic compounds are named based on the longest chain of carbon atoms. It is carbon's ability to form long chains which makes biomolecules like proteins, DNA, carbohydrates, etc possible. As stated above, organic chemistry is pretty much the chemistry of carbon so we name organic compounds based on the number of carbon atoms in the longest chain. Start at one end and trace the carbon chain. If you have to pick up your pen, you are done. Therefore, the chain does not have to be straight but it has to be "continuous". The parent name for the number of carbons in the longest can be found in the table below. For this first class of compounds, the alkanes, the suffix is -ane.
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Even more practice

This link provides some more practice. It is probably a little easier than the ones above. This link has loads of quizzes, you may want to return here later. Scroll down under nomenclature for an alkane and cycloalkane quiz. Here is yet another quiz.

What can you do to help your understanding?

Chemistry is a subject that must be practiced everyday if possible. Work through the lecture examples stopping the video clips and then restarting to check yourself. Take advantage of the practice in Mastering Chemistry to give you the practice you need to be successful. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! Check announcements on Sakai everyday. Keep a printed copy of the most recent course calendar (included in syllabus) next to your work area. Email me with questions!! Go to SI (supplemental instruction).