October 24, 2021, 01:32:01 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?  (Read 21488 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline whirlofwings

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
I know I might be told that this belongs in a different category. I looked at both the Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry categories, and I felt that my question was too broad for either and belonged here.

Anyway, what is the most difficult, confusing thing you had to learn in either courses? I plan on taking Organic Chemistry next year, then Biochemistry the year after. I want to be somewhat prepared.  :)

Offline Jorriss

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 523
  • Mole Snacks: +41/-14
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 11:26:24 AM »
For organic chemistry, probably pericyclic reactions.

Offline Dan

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4716
  • Mole Snacks: +467/-72
  • Gender: Male
  • Organic Chemist
    • My research
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 01:26:42 PM »
I'm with Jorriss on this one. I found it very tough. Very interesting though.
My research: Google Scholar and Researchgate

Offline orgo814

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 412
  • Mole Snacks: +11/-6
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 12:46:59 AM »
Organic Chemistry (at intro level) is not a hard course as long as you are willing to put in the time. Do not listen to the horror stories because those come from students who did not put in the time. The first semester of organic chemistry is focused on structure (stereochemistry) and the basic mechanisms of 4 reactions (addition, elimination, substitution, and rearrangement). The concepts are very basic but there is a lot of information which is what makes the course "hard". If you put in the time, you may find it even easier than general chemistry (I did). Do not approach the course by memorization or you will make it much harder on yourself. Understand the movement of electrons (what bonds are breaking and what bonds are forming). By working and thoroughly understanding the homework problems, this will come easy on exams. If you really want to get a head start (although I don't think it's necessary if you study hard), I would review stereochemistry since that seems to be the most confusing aspect of the first semester of the course due to the visualization. Good luck!

Offline Babcock_Hall

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4930
  • Mole Snacks: +288/-22
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 09:10:33 AM »
In biochemistry the subject of cooperativity of binding is conceptually challenging.  However, it is also important toward understanding hemoglobin and also many regulated enzymes.

Offline LigteV

  • New Member
  • **
  • Posts: 4
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 05:53:10 AM »
 Synthesizing a new molecule in organic chemistry is a talent very few people have and biochemistry has its own demons. whats more difficult, chemistry or biochemistry is not the question, chemistry is chemistry. But if you have a good theoretical and practical experience in any chemistry field, from physical,organic,analytical,inorganic even maths and physics will give you a lot and i mean a lot more insight in the way you  understand biochemistry or any scientific subject who has its roots in chemistry. Chemistry and physics provides you the basics. For me to be a proper biochemist starts with chemistry and physics. Easier said than done...
   

Offline Babcock_Hall

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4930
  • Mole Snacks: +288/-22
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 11:08:16 AM »
This is a good point, and it also applies to phosphoryl group transfer reactions in biochemistry.  When one really probes into the mechanisms, one realizes that the issue is much more complex than one might suppose from exposure to the topic in first-year organic chemistry.

Offline Angelina44

  • Very New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 02:14:08 AM »
Stereochemistry was the least intuitive for me. It wasn't hard, exactly, I just had to spend some time thinking about it before I got it. If you're not good at visualizing 3-D structures in your head, get a model kit and use it a lot. (Some teachers allow you to use them during exams.)
Angelina

Offline 408

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 796
  • Mole Snacks: +103/-30
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 03:09:19 AM »
Purification.  Sure you can make it, but can you isolate it from the rest of the junk that comes out?

Offline Archer

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1001
  • Mole Snacks: +85/-20
  • Gender: Male
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 04:21:57 AM »
I don't believe that these are necessarily the hardest things to learn but in my experience these are the two subjects which students give up on as a lost cause the quickest, to their detriment. I include two recommended text books to help you out if you are interested.

1) Mechanisms. 
Stuart Warren's book Chemistry of the Carbonyl Group, A Programmed Approach to Organic Reaction Mechanisms is fantastic. As the title suggests it is focussed on carbonyl chemistry but if you work your way through the book (it is only small) you will have a good understanding of curly arrows etc. http://books.google.com/books/about/Chemistry_of_the_carbonyl_group.html?id=5yfwAAAAMAAJ

2) Retrosynthesis.
The Oxford Chemistry Primer by Christine Willis Organic synthesis is a good book to get you started in this subject. http://books.google.com.gt/books/about/Organic_Synthesis_Ocp.html?id=KJmhQgAACAAJ
“ I love him. He's hops. He's barley. He's protein. He's a meal. ”

Denis Leary.

Offline Woopy

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Mole Snacks: +4/-8
Re: What is the Hardest Thing In Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 01:35:08 AM »
My experience of one year of intro organic chemistry was that the first semester is harder than the 2nd semester, because it has a learning curve involved getting used to electron pushing arrows and the way that organic chemists think and solve problems

Sponsored Links