Organic Chemistry

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4. Alkanes and Cycloalkanes

Conformational Isomers

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As we’ve learned before, single bonds have the ability to freely rotate, meaning that we have to get used to seeing multiple arrangements of single bonds and understanding that they are all the same thing. 

These multiple arrangements are known as conformers.

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concept

Understanding what a conformer is.

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Now that we understand what a conformer is, let's see if we can distinguish them from regular isomers. 

2
Problem

Determine if the following pair of molecules is isomers or conformers?

Notice that the only difference between these was one rotation.

This next one is a bit more tricky because it has two rotations in it. See if you can identify them.

3
Problem

Determine if the following pair of molecules is isomers or conformers?

Remember: If double bonds are switching configuration, that’s an isomer. If single bonds are rotating, that a conformer

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Problem

Determine if the following pair of molecules is isomers or conformers?

One more, hopefully these are getting a little easier!

5
Problem

Determine if the following pair of molecules is isomers or conformers?

We’ll be rotating single bonds all the time in this course, so I’m hoping now you are more comfortable recognizing that multiple rotations really equal the same thing.