Organic Chemistry

comet landingOrganic chemistry is undoubtedly the most important branch of chemistry. At the molecular level it can be the study of life itself. A washing machine sized robot named Philae has just started an eternal piggy back ride on a lump of rock dating back to the beginning of time. Its mission to discover if life starting molecules are part of the frozen package. A billion dollar launch and ten years later a permanent stop off on an asteriod where it will drill below the surface sniffing out organic compounds before drifting through the cosmos till the end of time. Organic chemistry started the moment supernovae starting spewing carbon atoms into the universe. Its an important subject Ok got a bit carried away. Organic chemistry is the study of carbon and its compounds with hydrogen  and a few other elements mainly oxygen nitrogen phosphorus and sulphur

Hydrocarbons the simplest  organic molecules

2,2,4-trimethylpentaneThis is a simple molecule but even governments of small countries are prepared to go war to secure supplies of this hydrocarbon. Its a hydrocarbon because it contains the elements carbon and hydrogen only. The  research octane number or RON of  gasoline is a measure of its efficiencey compared with 2,2,4-trimethyl pentane under test conditions. The number is displayed at the pump. Just to confuse you this molecule also goes by the name isooctane.

Chemical structure and systematic naming of organic molecules

How do we write structural formulae for organic molecules and give them a unique name that everyone understands (Chemists call this a systematic name). I have tried to explain this in the video starting with the simplest organic molecules, the hydrocarbons. Back to the cosmos again The fuel that carried Rosetta away from earth on a trajectory that would see it 10 years later bounce along the surface of a comet was a hydrocarbon, hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTBD). On this planet the vast majority of polybutadiene is used in tyre manufacture for vehicles driving on high octane fuel

Finished the  book, watch the movie

Stop the video when prompted and attempt the questions towards the end to check understanding.

 For Educators


You can purchase the powerpoint and associated assessment exercises on my online store at teachers pay teachers
Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth -

Trial the powerpoint first


View My Stats