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CHEM 125A: FRESHMAN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II - Lecture 1 - Professor J. Michael McBride

Mechanism: How Energies and Kinetic Order Influence Reaction Rates

This second semester of Freshman Organic Chemistry builds on the first semester’s treatment of molecular structure and energy* to discuss how reaction mechanisms have been discovered and understood.  It also treats the spectroscopy and synthesis of organic molecules.  Reactions and their rates can be understood in terms of reaction-coordinate diagrams involving the passage of a set of atoms through the “transition state” on the potential-energy surface.  Analysis of bond-dissociation energies suggests a chain mechanism for free-radical halogenation of alkanes.  Experimental determination of kinetic order provides insight into complex reaction schemes, especially when one step is rate-limiting.

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