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My goal in writing Organic Chemistry was to create a text that showed students the beauty and logic of organic chemistry by giving them a book that they would use.
This text is based on lecture notes and handouts that were developed in my own organic chemistry courses over my 30-year teaching career.
I have followed two guiding principles: use relevant and interesting applications to illustrate chemical phenomena, and present the material in a student-friendly fashion using bulleted lists, solved problems, and extensive illustrations and summaries.
Organic Chemistry is my attempt to simplify and clarify a course that intimidates many students—to make organic chemistry interesting, relevant, and accessible to all students, both chemistry majors and those interested in pursuing careers in biology, medicine, and other disciplines, without sacrificing the rigor they need to be successful in the future.
• In response to reviewer feedback, new sections have been added on fragmentation patterns in mass spectrometry (Section 13.3) and peptide sequencing (Section 28.6).
In addition, sections on splitting in NMR spectroscopy (Section 14.7) and substituent effects in substituted benzenes (Section 18.6) have been rewritten to clarify and focus the material. Some mechanisms have been modified by adding electron pairs to nucleophiles and leaving groups to more clearly indicate the course of the chemical reaction.
• Twenty new NMR spectra have been added in Chapters 14–25 to give students additional practice in this important type of analysis.
• Over 350 new problems are included in the third edition. The majority of these problems are written at the intermediate level—more advanced than the easier drill problems, but not as complex as the challenge problems. Beginning with Chapter 11, there are additional multi-step synthesis problems that rely on reactions learned in earlier chapters.
• The interior design has been modified to tidy margins, and art labeling has been simplified, so students can focus more clearly on the important concepts in a section.
• New micro-to-macro illustrations are included on hydrogen bonding in DNA (Chapter 3), the production of ethanol from corn (Chapter 9), partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils (Chapter 12), artifi cial sweeteners (Chapter 27), and insulin (Chapter 28). Several 3-D illustrations of proteins have been added to Chapter 28 as well.
The depiction of enzymes as biological catalysts in Chapter 6 has been redone to use an actual reaction—the conversion of the lactose in milk to glucose and galactose.
• New health-related and environmental applications are included in margin notes and problems. Topics include the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, α-hydroxy acids in skin care products, drugs such as Benadryl that contain ammonium salts, chloroethane as a local anesthetic, rebaudioside A (trade name Truvia), a sweetening agent isolated from a plant source, and many others.
• Style This text is different—by design. Today’s students rely more heavily on visual imagery to learn than ever before. The text uses less prose and more diagrams, equations, tables, and bulleted summaries to introduce and reinforce the major concepts and themes of organic chemistry.
• Content Organic Chemistry accents basic themes in an effort to keep memorization at a minimum. Relevant examples from everyday life are used to illustrate concepts, and this material is integrated throughout the chapter rather than confined to a boxed reading.
Each topic is broken down into small chunks of information that are more manageable and easily learned. Sample problems are used as a tool to illustrate step wise problem solving. Exceptions to the rule and older, less useful reactions are omitted to focus attention on the basic themes.
• Organization Organic Chemistry uses functional groups as the framework within which chemical reactions are discussed. Thus, the emphasis is placed on the reactions that different functional groups undergo, not on the reactions that prepare them.
Moreover, similar reactions are grouped together so that parallels can be emphasized. These include acid–base reactions (Chapter 2), oxidation and reduction (Chapters 12 and 20), radical reactions (Chapter 15), and reactions of organometallic reagents (Chapter 20).
By introducing one new concept at a time, keeping the basic themes in focus, and breaking complex problems down into small pieces, I have found that many students find organic chemistry an intense but learnable subject.
Many, in fact, end the year-long course surprised that they have actually enjoyed their organic chemistry experience.