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Extra resources for Organic Chemistry, 3rd Edition

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Apago PDF Enhancer In this introduction, we have seen a variety of molecules that have diverse structures. They represent a miniscule fraction of the organic compounds currently known and the many thousands that are newly discovered or synthesized each year. The principles you learn in organic chemistry will apply to all of these molecules, from simple ones like methane and ethanol, to complex ones like capsaicin and ginkgolide B. It is these beautiful molecules, their properties, and their reactions that we will study in organic chemistry.

We have seen an enormous increase in life span, from 47 years in 1900 to over 70 years currently. To a large extent this is due to the isolation and synthesis of new drugs to fight infections and the availability of vaccines for childhood diseases. Chemistry has also given us the tools to control insect populations that spread disease, and there is more food for all because of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Our lives would be vastly different today without the many products that result from organic chemistry (Figure 1).

For example, every neutral carbon atom has an atomic number of six, meaning it has six protons in its nucleus and six electrons surrounding the nucleus. In addition to neutral atoms, we will also encounter charged ions. • A cation is positively charged and has fewer electrons than its neutral form. • An anion is negatively charged and has more electrons than its neutral form. The number of neutrons in the nucleus of a particular element can vary. Isotopes are two atoms of the same element having a different number of neutrons.

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