Curly arrow conventions in organic chemistry | Summary and Q&A

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May 27, 2015
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Khan Academy
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Curly arrow conventions in organic chemistry

TL;DR

Understanding the different types of curly arrows used in organic chemistry reactions and their variations.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are the two types of curly arrows used in organic chemistry?

The two types of curly arrows used are full arrows, representing the movement of electron pairs, and half arrows, representing the movement of electrons by themselves.

Q: How does the slight variation in curly arrow conventions help?

The variation in drawing the full arrow helps in accounting for electrons and visualizing how electron movement occurs in a reaction.

Q: When are full arrows typically used?

Full arrows are typically used to represent the movement of electron pairs and are commonly observed in most organic chemistry reactions.

Q: When are half arrows used?

Half arrows, also known as fish hook arrows, are used to represent the movement of electrons by themselves, especially in free radical reactions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • There are two types of curly arrows used in organic chemistry: curly full arrows and curly half arrows.

  • The convention is that the full arrow represents the movement of electron pairs, while the half arrow represents the movement of electrons by itself.

  • The slight variation in curly arrow conventions helps in visualizing and conceptualizing electron movement.

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