Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry

The two columns on the right are the main Table of Contents. An Alphabetical Index is at the bottom of the page.

Useful Information


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At various points throughout this text, links to supplementary information or special topics will be located in shaded boxes of this kind.

Time Line
  olefin metathesis
catalytic cross coupling reactions
the human genome decoded
  discovery of fullerenes
Woodward Hoffmann rules
stereoselective catalytic polymerization
xenon hexafluoroplatinate prepared by N. Bartlett
  applications of photochemistry
structure of vitamin B12
conformational analysis
DNA double helix described
X-ray of DNA obtained by R. Franklin
nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
the alpha-helix is described
partition chromatography
E. Fermi builds the first fission reactor
  W. Carothers discovers nylon
L. Hammett defines physical organic chemistry
Pauling's Nature of the Chemical Bond
catalytic cracking of petroleum
Lewis and Bronsted acid-base theories
organolithium compounds are made
Bohr atomic orbital shell model
H. Staudinger describes polymers
A. Fleming discovers penicillin
  G.N. Lewis defines a covalent bond
Haber synthesis of ammonia
Grignard reagents are made
infrared spectroscopy begins
  M. Gomberg observes a free radical
Fischer's elucidation of hexoses
Hoffman prepares aspirin
  configuration of optical isomers
Miescher discovers DNA
Mendeleev's periodic table
  Kekule structural formulas
Perkin synthesizes mauve
Pasteur resolves (±)-tartaric acid
Goodyear vulcanizes rubber
  Wohler synthesizes urea
Faraday discovers benzene
  Avogadro's law
Dalton's atomic theory

General Principles

Structure & Bonding

Intermolecular Forces

Chemical Reactivity



Stereoisomers Part I

Stereoisomers Part II

Summary of Isomerism

Other Topics

Concerning Practice Problems

The practice problems provided as part of this text are chiefly interactive, and should provide a useful assessment of the reader's understanding at various stages in the development of the subject. Some of these problems make use of a Molecular Editor drawing application created by Peter.Ertl. To practice using this editor Click Here.
Since problem solving is essential to achieving an effective mastery of the subject, it is recommended that many more problems be worked. Most organic chemistry textbooks contain a broad assortment of suitable problems, and paperback collections of practice problems are also available. In addition, a large collection of multiple choice problems may be viewed Here.
The following button will activate a collection of problems concerning the reactivity of common functional groups.

The following web-sites provide nice collections of problems and answers:
Towson University-reaction quizzes and summaries
Ohio State University-electronic flashcards
University of Wisconsin-concept questions
UCLA-helpful advice
Notre Dame-spectroscopy problems

For a useful collection of study materials, including links to other sites, visit the Organic chemistry tool-kit. Prepared by Bob Hanson, St. Olaf College

Functional Group Reactions




Alkyl Halides



Thiols & Sulfides

Benzene & Derivatives



Aldehydes & Ketones

Carboxylic Acids

Carboxylic Derivatives

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 . Virtual Text of Organic Chemistry 1999 An interactive textbook covering the usual topics treated in a college sophomore-level course. Links are offered to advanced discussions of selected topics. William Reusch