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32 Lots of carbon compounds seem to be isomers What is an isomer In organic chemistry there are many examples of different compounds which have the same molecular formula as each other but different arrangements of the atoms in their molecules different structural formulae These compounds are said to be isomers of one another Isomerism also occurs in inorganic chemistry but it is less common There are two types of isomerism common in organic chemistry structural isomerism and stereo isomerism Structural isomers of a compound have the atoms of their molecules linked in a different order This can come about in one of three ways different carbon skeletons in the molecule chain isomerism functional group linked to different carbon atoms positional isomerism different functional groups functional group isomerism Examples are shown below Stereo isomers of a compound have the same structural formula as one another but the atoms of their molecules are orientated differently in space Two common forms of stereo isomerism are geometric isomerism also called cis trans isomerism which occurs due to lack of free rotation about double bonds optical isomerism which occurs because of an asymmetry of a carbon atom with four different groups attached to it Alkane Isomers Department of Chemistry CAL Suitable for use by students in CM1003 CM1004 and CM1504 Alkane Isomers is a student tutorial for one of the first problems encountered in Organic Chemistry isomerism and nomenclature of saturated hydrocarbons ie finding the longest chain determining whether two differently written structures are the same compound and finding the total number of isomers for a given formula In addition to providing text-based tutorials on naming alkanes and determining the number of isomers of an alkane of a specified number of carbons Alkane Isomers provides three interactive practice modules In two of these modules the computer generates
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