Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Midterm exams

It is midterm time. Time for exams.

I'm writing an Organic exam for tomorrow. It covers cycloalkanes and an overview of organic reactions.

Feel free to suggest a question you think I should include on the exam. I'm not opposed to letting other people do my work for me.


milkshake said...

"When one treats cyclopentanone with magnesium metal, one can isolate a magnesium salt of a dimeric compound A, (the salt formula is C10H16O2Mg). The salt is pretty moisture-sensitive and on contact with water during workup instantly hydrolyses to free A, formula C10H18O2, and magnesium hydroxide.

When one treats compound A with a strong acid, it readily dehydrates to compound B, formula C10H16O.

What is the structure of A,B and what is the reaction mechanism of their formation?

Hint: using acetone inplace of cyclopentanone as a starting material leads to C6H14O2 that upon treatment with acid produces C6H12O "

Dr. Kev said...

When we interview for associate chemists one of the sessions is to gauge their synthetic "thinking" ability. The question is simple. Acetophenone is drawn on the board and the question is asked, “What can you do with that?” You’d be amazed (well maybe you wouldn’t) at the variety of answers one gets...or doesn’t get for that matter.

Chemgeek said...

Milkshake: That will have to wait until we get to ketones et al. But it's a good one.

Kev: For some reason I'm reminded of the scene from Airplane when the serious guy in the tower looks at a printout of the weather report and gives it to the idiot guy in the tower and asking for input says, "what can you make of this." The idiot guy responds, "well, I can make a hat..."

Lisa-tastrophies said...

Haven't got any good questions but I have a hall of fame test answer for you: I asked my students to pick the best of two options to a question and then tell me why they did not chose the other.
Answer: "Duh, clearly this answer sucks"
Can't argue with logic like that
Happy Mid Terms