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The organic chemist’s periodic table The organic chemist's periodic table The major elements present in organic compounds are carbon (C), and hydrogen (H). The hydrocarbon derivatives contain mainly oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), halogens (X), sulphur (S) and phosphorous (P). Out of 24 elements (essential, micro and trace elements) selected by evolution for life processes, almost all are present in organic compounds. Other than that many synthetic organic compounds contain different elements in the periodic table. A branch of organic chemistry called organometallic chemistry is developing vastly due to the discovery of various organic compounds connected with the other elements in periodic table. With elements found in organic chemicals, organic chemists are designing their own periodic table. The most important elements found in organic compounds are given above.

Learning Objectives

After completing the topic, the student will be able to:

  • Define organic chemistry and distinguish organic and inorganic compounds.
  • Explain the reason for versatile behavior of carbon.
  • List the allotropes of carbon and their sources.
  • Define a functional group and classify the compounds based on functional groups
  • State and practice of the nomenclature rules framed by IUPAC in naming a compound.
  • Discuss the Homologous series the compounds.
  • Define isomerism, explain the types of isomerism,chirality, racemisation, etc.
  • Calculate the number of possible isomers for a given compound.
  • Discuss the optically active isomers
Organic molecules form part of the building blocks of living cells and tissues. Organic molecules These are carbon based molecules (or compounds) that predominant in the food we take, the fragrances we inhale, the colors we see, and many more. In present scenario, life is based on these compounds. Carbon's ability to form diverse structures and an endless number of molecules make it an important building block in the living cells and tissues.
It is interesting to know how every chemical in our body is produced, moved, modified and used by a sequence of amino acids that are related to the DNA. The more we understand about how the chemistry of our body works, the better our chance of keeping everything working as it should.
Organic chemistry

It is a branch of science that deals with hydrocarbon (compound of carbon and hydrogen) and its derivatives. In these compounds, carbon is directly bonded to hydrogen (C – H). Identifying a compound as organic or inorganic is based on the structure and is determined by experimental methods but not by its formula. For better understanding, consider the following compounds.

In these, Carbonic acid alone has no C – H bond. So, it is not a hydrocarbon.
Compounds with same general formula but vary in the length of carbon chain exhibit a character known as homologous series . The adjacent members of the series differ from each other by a –CH2 unit. These compounds have similar chemical properties but different physical properties.

Charring of vegetables(organic) and Melting of ice (inorganic)  Charring of vegetables(organic) and Melting of ice (inorganic) A classification based on whether a substance melts or burns when it is heated is fine if you test it on materials such as wood or vegetables and ice. In the above figure vegetables burnt and charred but the ice melts. So we can conclude that vegetables are organic compounds and ice is an inorganic compound.
Vital force theory

From the very beginnings of science, people have heated substances to see what happened to them. In 1807, Jons Jacob Berzelius divided all the chemicals into two groups based on their reaction on heating. He classified the substances which burnt or charred on heating as organic chemicals which were mostly in living things. The substances which melted or vaporized on heating but then returned to their original state were classified under inorganic chemicals. Although we now recognize this classification as somewhat shaky, it gave chemists of the day something to focus their work on.

He proposed a theory that : Organic compounds are only found in living animals and plants because live fores or vital force is present in them. It was popularly known as "vital force theory" which summarizes that organic chemistry is the chemistry of life.

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