Communicating Molecular Structure in Diagrams and Words Video Lecture, Yale

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Freshman Organic Chemistry

Lecture 27: Communicating Molecular Structure in Diagrams and Words

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Lecture Details :

It is important that chemists agree on notation and nomenclature in order to communicate molecular constitution and configuration. It is best when a diagram is as faithful as possible to the 3-dimensional shape of a molecule, but the conventional Fischer projection, which has been indispensable in understanding sugar configurations for over a century, involves highly distorted bonds. Ambiguity in diagrams or words has led to multibillion-dollar patent disputes involving popular drugs. International agreements provide descriptive, unambiguous, unique, systematic "IUPAC" names that are reasonably convenient for most organic molecules of modest molecular weight.

Course Description :

This is the first semester in a two-semester introductory course focused on current theories of structure and mechanism in organic chemistry, their historical development, and their basis in experimental observation. The course is open to freshmen with excellent preparation in chemistry and physics, and it aims to develop both taste for original science and intellectual skills necessary for creative research.

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