Chapter 3

Speaking with Pictures: Drawing Structures

In This Chapter

arrow Perfecting your organic-speak

arrow Drawing Lewis structures

arrow Seeing structural abbreviations

arrow Drawing resonance structures

I hope you’ve had the chance to listen in on a conversation between two chemists in the halls of a cavernous chemistry building as they discussed their experiments. Perhaps you overheard snatches of their conversation: “I don’t get it,” one might have said, “My proton NMR showed two multiplets one part per million upfield from the aromatic protons.” Or maybe you heard, “I made the alkene via the Wittig, but for the life of me I simply could not get the reduced nitro group to react with the t-butyl chloride using an SN1 in ethanol!” Or perhaps, “We return to planet Beldar with the earthlings in eight lunar cycles!” And you thought, “Now what language were they speaking?”

They were speaking organic, of course, which hasn’t been classified yet as a foreign language, but perhaps could be, because learning organic chemistry is a lot like learning a foreign language. Organic chemistry has its own jargon, ...

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