After you have completed Chapter 6, you should be able to
- fulfill the detailed objectives listed under each individual section.
- identify the polarity pattern in the common functional groups, and explain the importance of being able to do so.
- describe the essential differences between polar and radical reactions, and assign a given reaction to one of these two categories.
- discuss how kinetic and thermodynamic factors determine the rate and extent of a chemical reaction.
- use bond dissociation energies to calculate the ΔH° of simple reactions, and vice versa.
- draw and interpret reaction energy diagrams.
- define, and use in context, the new key terms.
This chapter is designed to provide a gentle introduction to the subject of reaction mechanisms. Two types of reactions are introduced—polar reactions and radical reactions.
The chapter briefly reviews a number of topics you should be familiar with, including rates and equilibria, elementary thermodynamics and bond dissociation energies. You must have a working knowledge of these topics to obtain a thorough understanding of organic reaction mechanisms. Reaction energy diagrams are used to illustrate the energy changes that take place during chemical reactions, and to emphasize the difference between a reaction intermediate and a transition state.