Index Home About Blog
From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: What are the best ways to study organic chemistry?
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 08:40:04 GMT (Joerg Geiger) wrote:
>df ( wrote:
>>  i have tried the 3d models and memorization but have great difficulty
>> understanding the precise mechanism in many reactions...... do you have any
>> tips on how to approach organic chem?
>Get a good textbook. I had Morrison-Boyd then and I was quite content
>with it, later I used March (advanced OC), Sykes (reaction mechanisms)
>and several others I can't remember right now.

Morrison & Boyd seems to be preferred here as well, and can often be
obtained cheaply using the second-hand book network accessible via
the WWW ( I think I even reached it via Barnes and Noble WWW site ).

It's also important to ensure that your texts have treatments that
are consistent with what your tutors are using ( especially if you
have to pass exams ), so ask them before investing in any additional

I'm also a fan of having an old text like Fieser & Fieser "Organic
Chemistry" ( 1950s - usually cheap second hand ), as it contains
plenty of real world examples that can assist understanding chemical
mechanisms, and any outdated concepts can be easily ignored.

Models can be very useful in visualising what is achievable and
what isn't, but some designs are much less helpful than others.
If I recall correctly, Uncle Al posted a rationale for using a
particular brand about a year or so ago.

      Bruce Hamilton

From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Suggestions for Older Organic Chem Textbooks
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 18:38:23 GMT

<> wrote in message news:7teq1b$769$
> I am a library technician on a personal search on behalf of a friend.
> We're looking for "older" Organic Chemistry textbooks. My friend has
> complained that the current teaching style that she is receiving is too
> "new math like" and lacks rules and structure.

As with any field, the appropriate text will depend on the class.
Older texts ( pre 1960s ) concentrate on organic chemical families,
with the classic being Fieser and Fieser " Organic Chemistry ".

The numerous examples give plenty of " real world " balance to
chemistry, without too much of theory, and sometimes practical
examples help trigger understanding. My criterion for a highly
useful book is one that I have to strenously pursue to reclaim
from deliberate or accidental thieves, and Fieser and Fieser
is one such book.

By the 1960s, mechanisms start to become very significant and
different texts covered different stages, and I can't think of
a standout text.

The best solution may be to browse through the chemistry catalogue
of a university or public library. The Journal of Chemical Education
has a good index section, and probably reviews texts as well.

However, I would strongly recommend that your friend discuss her
concerns with her teachers, as the worst possible outcome would
be to learn outdated concepts and ignoring current concept styles.
Regardless of the relative merits of the concepts and texts, she
will be examined on what her teachers are providing and using.
Teachers should be able to suggest supplementary reading that will
place their teaching in context, and that should be first choice.

    Bruce Hamilton

From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Chemistry books you forget to return.
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 18:44:16 GMT

A post has just triggered a recollection that about 8-10 years ago
there was an interesting thread about books on posters shelves that
they had to defend against deliberate or accidental theft. The
concept was that only good books would be worth stealing.

In these days of cheap reprints, Internet buying of second hand books,
and CD-ROMs, out-of-print may not be the pain it once was, but it
would be interesting to see what people think now.

The question is open to anyone, if you don't have colleagues with
keptomania or convenient Alzheimers, then the general chemistry
books you would fight to the death to defend or procure will do.

My current list:-

Aldrich catalogue.
Bretherick - Reactive Chemical Hazards
Cotton and Wilkinson - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Fiegl - Spot Tests ( Inorganic, organic )
Fieser and Fieser - Organic Chemistry
Glasstone - Physical Chemisty ( currently AWOL )
Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary
Martindale - The Extra Pharmacopeia.
Matheson Gas Data Book
Merck Index
Perrin & Armarego  - Purification of Laboratory Chemicals
Perry - Chemical Engineers Handbook
Rubber Handbook
Sax - Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials
Vogel - ( Inorganic Quantitative, Inorganic Qualitative, EPOC, Organic )
What Every Engineer should know about Patents ( currently AWOL )

Books I'd like to "borrow" :-

Kirk Othmer - Chemical Technology 4th edition CD-ROM
Shakhashiri - Chemical Demonstrations
Ullmann - Industry Chemistry CD-ROM

        Bruce Hamilton

Index Home About Blog