A Chemistry Exercise in Predicting the Products of a Reaction

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A chemistry exercise in predicting the products of a reaction really covers almost all of chemistry. Find out about a chemistry exercise in predicting the products of reaction with help from an experienced chemistry and science professional in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins. And this is a chemistry exercise in predicting the products of a reaction. Alright, so, this question really covers almost all of chemistry. So, let's just narrow it down to one example and kind of work through the steps. So, if we don't know what the product is, we need to basically observe what we have and make an educated guess. So, if I look at these two reagents, I can immediately notice the negative charge on oxygen. And I also notice over here that this carbon is bonded to a methyl group and two hydrogen and a bromine. And I pretty much know from experience and the periodic table rules that bromine is going to be the most reactive portion of this molecule. It's a really good leading group, it has electron activity, it's pretty much o.k. reacting. Hydrogens are definitely not o.k. reacting. So, they're going to stay the same and the methyl group is pretty much the same thing. So, the first step of predicting our products is just looking around, seeing what we have, what's going to stay the same and what's going to change. So, in this case, we've identified that this negative charge will probably do something, the bromine will probably react and everything else will probably stay the same. Now the second pat of predicting a product is to just remember what reactions have we learned so far. Because there are so many that we need to just pick from something we've been taught. So, in this case, to me, this will really look like an SN2 reaction. So, i'm going to go ahead and guess this is an SN-two (SN2). And I'm predicting that because we have a good nuclear file, we have a good leading group and this carbon isn't too sterically hindered to be attacked. So, if you're in organic chemistry, the best way to predict the product is to simply draw a mechanism and see what you get. So, what I'm going to do is draw a reaction arrow here, because that's how SN-two (SN2) reactions work, attacking at the center carbon. I'm going to have bromine leave and then, I'm just going o draw what we got. So, we don't have a question mark anymore. We know that we have our oxygen group, is attacked, we have our methyl group and we have our two hydrogens. And then, over here hanging out, now we have a negatively charged bromine with four lone pairs. And so, this is how I predicted my product. I looked at what I had, identified what changed and stayed the same. I thought about the different reactions that I learned and then, I drew a mechanism. I'm Robin Higgins and this has been a chemistry exercise in predicting the products of a reaction.


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