Lecture 1 - Mechanism: How Energies and Kinetic Order Influence Reaction Rates

author: J. Michael McBride, Department of Chemistry, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Aug. 19, 2014,   recorded: January 2011,   views: 2990
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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This second semester of Freshman Organic Chemistry builds on the first semester’s treatment of molecular structure and energy* to discuss how reaction mechanisms have been discovered and understood. It also treats the spectroscopy and synthesis of organic molecules. Reactions and their rates can be understood in terms of reaction-coordinate diagrams involving the passage of a set of atoms through the “transition state” on the potential-energy surface. Analysis of bond-dissociation energies suggests a chain mechanism for free-radical halogenation of alkanes. Experimental determination of kinetic order provides insight into complex reaction schemes, especially when one step is rate-limiting.

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