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Author Topic: isomers: equivalent carbon atoms  (Read 447 times)

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directlyobservable

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isomers: equivalent carbon atoms
« on: February 20, 2013, 09:16:22 PM »

Hi I'm new her and I have a question about isomers. I am ok with drawing isomers of alkanes, but I am not entirely sure about "equivalent carbon atoms". For example, in my lab manual it asks to draw the isomers of C3H5Br3, and how many equivalent carbon atoms there are in each isomer. Is equivalent carbons referring to 1°, 2°, 3°, etc. or is it something else. I have googled a more general search of carbons in alkane substitution reactions, and a large amount of the results were NMR spectra stuff which is not being discussed in my class (survey o-chem). Anyway, I apologize if my post is done incorrectly. Thanks so much!
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Schrödinger

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Re: isomers: equivalent carbon atoms
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 09:46:13 PM »

Okay.

So Consider ethane. Now saying you want to add a bromine  atom(for convenience, lets say you want to only monobrominate) to it by say, photoirradiation of a mixture containing bromine and ethane. Does it matter which carbon gets the new bromine atom? I mean, yes after one H has been replaced by one Br atom, the resulting compound (1-bromoethane) has 2 kinds of carbons. One with Br and the other without the Br.

But what about ethane as such? Don't you think each carbon is equivalent? Meaning, they are indistinguishable?
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directlyobservable

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Re: isomers: equivalent carbon atoms
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 10:38:09 PM »

Thanks, so basically equivalent carbons are equal in all aspects with the atoms and/or groups that are attached to them right? So with ethane, each carbon is bonded to 3 hydrogens and the other carbon, so they are both equal. And that would apply in all situations?
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Schrödinger

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Re: isomers: equivalent carbon atoms
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 02:07:18 AM »

Yes. Unless the the molecule is radio-labelled at a particular atom. Radiolabelling is very useful is many arenas. Do check it out
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