O'Reilly logo

Organic Chemistry I For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Arthur Winter

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 5

Reactivity Centers: Functional Groups

In This Chapter

arrow Recognizing functional groups

arrow Understanding the properties of functional groups

arrow Finding functional groups in nature

Consider this: Millions of reactions of organic molecules are currently known, and that number is getting bigger by the day. That’s probably a scary thought. Can you imagine trying to learn all of them? The good news is that you don’t have to learn all the reactions of specific molecules because organic molecules often react in predictable ways based on what kinds of groups a particular molecule contains.

Alkanes (molecules containing just singly bonded hydrogen and carbon atoms) are pretty much inert under most conditions. Carbon, though, is unique among the elements in that it has the capability of forming stable compounds that have multiple bonds to other carbons, in addition to stable bonds to other non-carbon atoms, forming reactive centers. These reactive centers are called functional groups and are the reactive portions in an organic molecule. Chemists organize organic compounds based on what functional groups are present in a particular molecule.

One reason learning the functional groups is important ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required