An Endless Science – Organic Chemistry
The concept of organic chemistry is known to us from the school days. That deals with the properties and reactions of organic compounds containing carbon. The entire thing we are familiar with, even the minute object is composed of chemical compounds.
The basic elements in any chemical compound are carbon and hydrogen. It is the bond between these elements that makes the name of the compound as organic. The bond is formed when the electrons in the valence shell binds with the electrons of the other atoms. Carbon has four valence electrons and therefore can form four bonds. The simplest organic molecule is a hydrocarbon where a single carbon atom is bonded with four hydrogen atoms that have one electron in its octet. The number of atoms and the bonding configurations of carbon determine size and the structure of a molecule.
There are millions of organic elements in nature each having different properties and names. Based on the chemical properties, these elements are arranged in the periodic table, which is known as the heart of chemistry. The periodic table was first proposed by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869 which had 65 elements arranged based on the atomic weight and properties. Today 118 elements have discovered that added up the table in the increasing order of their atomic numbers.
The unique structure of every organic compound is named using a system of nomenclature known as IUPAC (International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry), the most important concept of organic chemistry. The IUPAC designation is done by considering the number of carbon atoms involved in the bond and the functional groups like Oxygen and esters. The compounds are classified into alkanes, alkenes and alkynes according to the nature of bonds.
Organic Chemistry is vast and creative science that applies to wide range of applications like plastics, cosmetics, medicines, pesticides, agrichemicals and more. The chemists are still in research for more elements that are hidden yet.