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What is organic chemistry?

Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with organic molecules . An organic molecule is one which contains carbon , and these molecules can range in size from simple molecules to complex structures containing thousands of atoms! Although carbon is present in all organic compounds, other elements such as hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and phosphorus (P) are also common in these molecules.

Until the early nineteenth century, chemists had managed to make many simple compounds in the laboratory, but were still unable to produce the complex molecules that they found in living organisms. It was around this time that a Swedish chemist called Jons Jakob Berzelius suggested that compounds found only in living organisms (the organic compounds) should be grouped separately from those found in the non-living world (the inorganic compounds). He also suggested that the laws that governed how organic compounds formed, were different from those for inorganic compounds. From this, the idea developed that there was a 'vital force' in organic compounds. In other words, scientists believed that organic compounds would not follow the normal physical and chemical laws that applied to other inorganic compounds because the very 'force of life' made them different.

This idea of a mystical 'vital force' in organic compounds was weakened when scientists began to manufacture organic compounds in the laboratory from non-living materials. One of the first to do this was Friedrich Wohler in 1828, who successfully prepared urea, an organic compound in the urine of animals which, until that point, had only been found in animals. A few years later a student of Wohler's, Hermann Kolbe , made the organic compound acetic acid from inorganic compounds. By this stage it was acknowledged that organic compounds are governed by exactly the same laws that apply to inorganic compounds. The properties of organic compounds are not due to a 'vital force' but to the unique properties of the carbon atom itself.

Organic compounds are very important in daily life. They make up a big part of our own bodies, they are in the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. Organic compounds are also used to make products such as medicines, plastics, washing powders, dyes, along with a list of other items.

Sources of carbon

The main source of the carbon in organic compounds is carbon dioxide in the air. Plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds through the process of photosynthesis . Plants are therefore able to make their own organic compounds through photosynthesis, while animals feed on plants or plant products so that they gain the organic compounds that they need to survive.

Another important source of carbon is fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. This is because fossil fuels are themselves formed from the decaying remains of dead organisms (refer to Grade 11 for more information on fossil fuels).

Unique properties of carbon

Carbon has a number of unique properties which influence how it behaves and how it bonds with other atoms:

Questions & Answers

how is ester formed
Aubrey Reply
how is n ester formed
Aubrey
Alcohol reacts with a carboxylic acid
Texas
an athlete with a mass of 70kg runs at a velocity of 45km . determine the athlete's momentum
Lesedi Reply
Is that a velocity or something else
msawenkosi
45km/h i guess
Texas
Change to m/s
Texas
45km/h = 12.5 m/s p=mv =70×12.5 =875 kg.m/s
Thato
what are the measures of the rates of reaction
Lesego Reply
Volume Concentration Temperature Pressure Surface Area
Thato
the principle of superposition of waves
Sfundo Reply
what is work
Kool Reply
is this a group chat
Nobuhle Reply
Hey can y'all define newton's 2nd law
mthebzification
If a resultant force act on an object...the object will accelerate in the direction of a resultant force,the acceleration of the object is directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object
mosa
how do you calculate tension force
Bulumko
use the formula Fnet=ma if there is tension connecting two objects
Sboniso
to calculate Tension, usually calculate acceleration first Draw separate free body diagrams for each body. Apply Fnet = ma to calculate Tension
Kevin
Hi people
Paul
how does temperature affect the equilibrium position
Blessing Reply
an increased temperature increases the average kinetic energy thus in turn increases the number of effective collisions........
Lwando
so...which reaction is favored between endothermic and exothermic .when temperature is increased..?
Blessing
exothermic reaction because energy is realised to the surroundings as heat and light energy ....graphical so much energy is realised as reactants to form product and because temperature is high rate of reaction is fast which means there is a successful collision
Code
INTEMENDO - INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE FAVOURS ENDOTHERMIC DETEMEXO - DECREASE IN TEMPERATURE FAVOURS EXOTHERMIC
Thato
an object will continue in a state of rest unless it is acted upon an unbalanced force
Junior Reply
Newton's Law 1
Code
First Newton's Law
Azola
Newton's first law
Surprise
newton first law
Thinavhuyo
Newton's first law
Blessing
when pressure is increased what happen to volume
Siphelo Reply
decreases
Code
care to explain?
Mpati
if pressure is applied to a pistol , the volume will decrease and particles will collide more frequently with the wall of a container .Each time they collide with the wall they exert a force on them .More collision means more force and the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
Code
Because the volume has decreased , the particle will collide more frequently with the wall of a container and each time they collide with the wall of a container they exert a force on them.More collision means more force so the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
Code
what is the difference between momentum and a change in momentum?
Chavonne Reply
How to name a branched molecule from right or left?
Vadin Reply
What's Free Fall
Senzo Reply
Free Fall means there is no acting force on that object.
Dingaletu
only gravitational force
Dingaletu
no external force acting on an object
Sphiwe
by only force of gravite
Sello
but gravitational force
Sphiwe
true
Lucky
a motion in which the only force acting is gravitational force
Blessing
and an object experiencing free fall is referred as a projectile
Blessing
Do polymers form restrictedly only if compound is saturated, only?
milani Reply
what is a free fall?
Beyanca Reply
is when The Only Force acting On an Object is Gravitational Force
Madman
Thats right
Beyanca
then Why ask when you Know the answer?
Madman
She's just helping those who forgot it...bro
Thato
guys I need help on Getting ready for a last minute test
Kenelioe Reply
what help you need
Neil
we'll I'm in grade 12 so we doing this topic about upac thing
Kenelioe
on What?
Madman
the organic molecule section
Kenelioe
IUPAC NAMING WHICH FUNCTIONAL GROUP YOU CANNOT NAME?SO I COULD HELP YOU
Madman
ester
Sboniso
you should also look at structural isomers. Its crucial that they might add that one. also try and write down the structural formula of all the given compounds on the table
milani

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
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