In this course, you have already seen several examples of nucleophilic substitution reactions; now you will see that these reactions can occur by two different mechanisms. You will study the factors that determine which mechanism will be in operation in a given situation, and examine possible ways for increasing or decreasing the rates at which such reactions occur. The stereochemical consequences of both mechanisms will also be discussed.
Elimination reactions often accompany nucleophilic substitution; so these reactions are also examined in this chapter. Again you will see that two different mechanisms are possible, and, as in the case of nucleophilic substitution reactions, chemists have learned a great deal about the factors that determine which mechanism will be observed when a given alkyl halide undergoes such a reaction.