Author Topic: Chemistry classes  (Read 6898 times)

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Rhodium

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Vogel's 3rd
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2003, 09:58:00 PM »
The only go-go synth (LOL) that can be found in Vogel, 3 th edition, is that of methylamine.

Oh no, it also details the preparation of P2P, as well as miscellaneous reductive aminations. That book is good for many things if you know how to use it.

SpicyBrown

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Organic WAS the shit.
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2003, 06:35:00 AM »
Ahhh organic chemistry was the shit- the most enjoyable series SWIM has ever taken. Most peole will look at a person like they're crazy if they say, "I loved O chem.." But it is true, and it is that sole passion for organic chemistry that drove SWIM through college.

However, there is a lot more to chemistry than the organic portion of it. Dealing primarily with only carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, organic concentrates on a very small fraction of the periodic table. Even though the majority of compounds existing in nature (especially living things) fall into the catergory of organic compounds, there is a lot more to it than that.

The kind of passion SWIM had for organic made taking the series very easy. On one hand, SWIM's mind just works well when dealing with these kinds of topics, but on the other hand, being so interested in it, there was no way SWIM could have done poorly. SWIM remembers beginning the physics series while taking the organic one, and hating it. Primarily because it was HARD, and SWIM wasn't used to classes being hard. Also because it wasn't interesting though. SWIM just dealt with it and trudged through the physics series. SWIM remembers the last day of physics class, being quite happy it was all over...

But then came Physical Chemistry. SWIM had heard stories. SWIM had been told it was the one of the hardest classes an undergraduate student could take.. But SWIM kind of always kept organic in mind as a motivator and figured P.Chem would just be a lot of work, and that it would all still make sense without too much trouble. Not the case! P.chem was the hardest class SWIM has ever taken. It was the first chemistry-specific class SWIM didn't get an A in. It is, essentially, taking physics and applying it to chemistry on a fundamental level. It is learning "real" chemistry, and it changes a lot of what students think they know up to that point. All that stuff they teach you in general chemistry? Ideal gas laws? How to calculate the pH? It is all dummied down because they figure students at the general chemistry level aren't yet capable of understanding the methods involved in figuring out how to model reality. And they are probably right, although in SWIM's experience it might have been nice to have been told while in gen.chem, "this is really just for ideal situations. Real does not equal ideal." Perhaps other people ARE told such things, ahh well.. In the end (of P.chem, heh) you might be able to just take the formulas and plug the numbers in, but its getting to those formulas that is so hard, and actually understanding it all that can be really challenging. It probably took SWIM the first half of the year long sequence before things finally clicked, and what actually clicked in the end was some fundamental idea of problem solving. That was what was so hard in physics, and what was so hard in p.chem as well, was relating this wacky math to the concepts you're trying to interpret. If this "click" had taken place prior to taking physics, it probably would have gone much better.

Certainly if you get caught up in the organic mindset you can really get used to the idea of chemistry without math. Organic is even a step down from gen.chem in regards to the math involved. After P.chem, SWIM's math skills were quite advanced compared to when SWIM started it all. A triple integral to derive a quantum wave function in 3D polar coordinates (quantum mechanics is, of course, an underlying principal to chemistry and chemical reactivity- they teach you allll that wacky shit in p.chem, not the standard undergrad physics series) is a real bitch, but ehh, its not that bad.

Surprisingly enough however, is that in the end of it all one can see how it all interrelates. P.chem lead SWIM to an even better understanding of organic in some areas. Inorganic chem is another one some people forget about- not an overly easy class in itself. SWIM was surprised how similar organic and inorganic chem can look when you really get to the basics of it all. Think about it though, you can take organic chemistry and learn all this stuff about molecular geometry and reaction mechanisms.. But think about, for example, a hydrogenation catalyzed by palladium metal (something many bees are quite familiar with  :) ). You're taught in organic chemistry that you can do that reaction. Most o.chem classes probably convieniently skip over the reaction mechanism for that one, and might say something as much as "ahhh well the properties of palladium allow it to facilitate the transfer of protons on it's surface...." but does a student fresh out of organic chemistry really have any idea why that reaction works the way it does? All the different areas of chemistry pretty much intertwine in the end.

Uhh.. sorry about that all, really. Was in a rambling mood. Most of you probably didn't really want to hear all that.. I guess if you read this far though, it means you actually did...

-SpicyBrown

Bwiti

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Orbitals are boring to me..
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2003, 08:33:00 AM »
Of course I'm not against chem classes, but you can learn a lot just from reading organic chem books and the net. I recently took a pre-college course, but once we got to the point of learning about orbitals, I got the fuck out of there! ;D


Megatherium

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Organic is even a step down from gen.chem in...
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2003, 12:27:00 PM »
Organic is even a step down from gen.chem in regards to the math involved.

When I was young, a class was taught called "Theoretical organic chemistry", where they applied some the stuff they taught in quantum chemistry (such as Hartree-Fock) to organic chemistry. 

I 'd not say (serious) organic chemistry is a mathematically a step down to general chemistry.  Hell, they even don't have the mathematical tools to solve multi electron problems ... hence the approximative methods.

Or wait until you get a course of 2D-NMR.  Then, you certainly appreciate some mathematical skills  :P .

But of course I know what you mean: a basic class of org chem isn't as quantitative as those concentration calculations in analytical chemistry.

I recently took a pre-college course, but once we got to the point of learning about orbitals, I got the fuck out of there!

You're on the good path Bwiti: keep it up & continue absorbing knowledge  :) .

SpicyBrown

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True, true.
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2003, 06:00:00 AM »

When I was young, a class was taught called "Theoretical organic chemistry", where they applied some the stuff they taught in quantum chemistry (such as Hartree-Fock) to organic chemistry. 

I 'd not say (serious) organic chemistry is a mathematically a step down to general chemistry.  Hell, they even don't have the mathematical tools to solve multi electron problems ... hence the approximative methods.



You're right about that one- Physical organic chemistry for example is definitely not a step down from gen chem math-wise  :) .

You know, I read back over my rant up there and it sounds like maybe it was a little on the "bitching" side- Not the intent. Even though p.chem was a real bitch, I'm not bitching about having to take it. Also, even though it seems like it would be cool if there were a way to teach the separate subjects more blended together, I'm not sure if it would work out very well to really do it that way- Chemistry overall is quite a behemoth of knowledge and I think it really does kind of need to be built up the way it generally is in the undergraduate curriculum.


I recently took a pre-college course, but once we got to the point of learning about orbitals, I got the fuck out of there!



Point well made- In fact it was, to some large extent, SWIM's personal drive to learn about the topics covered on the Hive for example that eventually led to becoming a chem major. With enough desire you really can teach yourself a lot about this kind of stuff. And when it comes to actually carrying out syntheses, its all about the experience. Having the underlying knowledge of whats going on can really help to decide what to do when weird shit happens (quite frequently..) but as far as technique, one can only learn so much without actually doing it yourself. SWIM probably learned more about technique from his own experimentations prior to entering college (well, gen chem was taken care of prior to this) then he learned in all the sophomore organic chem labs.

-SpicyBrown