Organic Chemistry

Learn the toughest concepts covered in Organic Chemistry with step-by-step video tutorials and practice problems by world-class tutors.

4. Alkanes and Cycloalkanes

Ring Strain

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We can use an instrument called a calorimeter to determine how much potential energy is stored in molecules. 

The Relationship Between Heat of Combustion and Stability

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concept

Understanding Heat of Combustion

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Factors that Affect Alkane Stability

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Shape and strain make alkanes unstable

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Strain is a super general word. So now let’s go more into specifics of the types of strain you need to recognize. 

Types of Strain

  1. Angle Strain
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What is angle strain?

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The ideal bond angle for sp3 hybirdized carbon is 109.5°, so the more we deviate from that number, the more unstable the angle will be! (Aka cyclopropane sucks). 

  1. Torsional Strain
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concept

What is torsional strain?

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Torsional strain increases with the number of eclipsing hydrogens in a molecule. Some of these rings are so small they can’t twist to prevent these interactions, which makes them unstable.  

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example

Lowest Heat of Combustion

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