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Substitution and Elimination Reactions

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course Professor Max Majireck (Hamilton College) introduces us to substitution and elimination reactions, understanding the fundamental differences in features, mechanisms, and kinetics between SN2, SN1, E1 and E2. We begin by: (i) defining key terms, including nucleophile, nucleophilic substitution, leaving group, and substrate before moving on to the general mechanism of an SN2 reaction, relating this to its kinetics and energetics; (ii) then moving to describe the key features of an SN2 reaction, that are the variables of the reaction which affect the likelihood and rate of reaction; (iii) then relating this to the SN1 reaction, comparing its mechanism to the SN2 reaction, and how these differences affect kinetics and energetics in real-world examples; (iv) penultimately we discuss the E1 reaction, distinguishing between substitution and elimination reactions first before examining the mechanism for an E1 reaction, and the factors involved which affect the kinetics and thermodynamics of its reaction, and; (v) to finish off we talk about the E2 reaction, the last of the different types of substitution and elimination reactions, learning about its general mechanism and features, before finally looking at ways in which we can work around established rules in organic chemistry that can limit our flexibility.

About the Lecturer

Max Majireck completed his postdoctoral research in chemical biology at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, designing small molecules to study disease biology, particularly cancer. He was selected for a fellowship from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. At Hamilton, he combined his passion for teaching, mentoring and research by designing a new course to highlight the role of organic synthesis in human health. He is also designing a research program that investigates new chemical transformations to produce tool compounds for studying neurological disorders. Majireck earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from Penn State.

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