Freshman Organic Chemistry I

Open Yale


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This is the first semester in a two-semester introductory course focused on current theories of structure and mechanism in organic chemistry, their historical development, and their basis in experimental observation. The course is open to freshmen with excellent preparation in chemistry and physics, and it aims to develop both taste for original science and intellectual skills necessary for creative research.

Important information

Where and when

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What you'll learn on the course

X-Ray Diffraction
Force Laws
Quantum Mechanical Kinetic Energy
Orbital Approximation

Course programme

Lecture 1 How Do You Know?

Lecture 2 Force Laws, Lewis Structures and Resonance

Lecture 3 Double Minima, Earnshaw's Theorem and Plum-Puddings

Lecture 4 Coping with Smallness and Scanning Probe Microscopy

Lecture 5 X-Ray Diffraction

Lecture 6 Seeing Bonds by Electron Difference Density

Lecture 7 Quantum Mechanical Kinetic Energy

Lecture 8 One-Dimensional Wave Functions

Lecture 9 Chladni Figures and One-Electron Atoms

Lecture 10 Reality and the Orbital Approximation

Exam 1 Midterm Exam 1

Lecture 11 Orbital Correction and Plum-Pudding Molecules

Lecture 12 Overlap and Atom-Pair Bonds

Lecture 13 Overlap and Energy-Match

Lecture 14 Checking Hybridization Theory with XH3

Lecture 15 Chemical Reactivity: SOMO, HOMO, and LUMO

Lecture 16 Recognizing Functional Groups

Lecture 17 Reaction Analogies and Carbonyl Reactivity

Lecture 18 Amide, Carboxylic Acid and Alkyl Lithium

Lecture 19 Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)

Exam 2 Midterm Exam 2

Lecture 20 Rise of the Atomic Theory (1790-1805)

Lecture 21 Berzelius to Liebig and Wöhler (1805-1832)

Lecture 22 Radical and Type Theories (1832-1850)

Lecture 23 Valence Theory and Constitutional Structure (1858)

Lecture 24 Determining Chemical Structure by Isomer Counting (1869)

Lecture 25 Models in 3D Space (1869-1877); Optical Isomers

Lecture 26 Van't Hoff's Tetrahedral Carbon and Chirality

Lecture 27 Communicating Molecular Structure in Diagrams and Words

Lecture 28 Stereochemical Nomenclature; Racemization and Resolution

Lecture 29 Preparing Single Enantiomers and the Mechanism of Optical Rotation

Exam 3 Midterm Exam 3

Lecture 30 Esomeprazole as an Example of Drug Testing and Usage

Lecture 31 Preparing Single Enantiomers and Conformational Energy

Lecture 32 Stereotopicity and Baeyer Strain Theory

Lecture 33 Conformational Energy and Molecular Mechanics

Lecture 34 Sharpless Oxidation Catalysts and the Conformation of Cycloalkanes

Lecture 35 Understanding Molecular Structure and Energy through Standard Bonds

Lecture 36 Bond Energies, the Boltzmann Factor and Entropy

Lecture 37 Potential Energy Surfaces, Transition State Theory and Reaction Mechanism

Exam 4 Final Exam