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Chemistry of Organic Compounds

Carbon has the unique property of forming long chains of identical atoms. This is known as catenation. These chains of carbon can form branches or even rings, when required. The catenation property of carbon enables it to form a large number of compounds. These compounds are studied under a separate branch called organic chemistry.

It is a property possessed by a carbon atom to link with another carbon atom, forming long chains and rings of different sizes. This is the reason why carbon forms a large number of compounds.


Large Number
The number of organic compounds is very large, more than a million. It is much more than the compounds of all the other elements put together.


Covalent Nature
Organic compounds are formed by covalent linkages. For this reason organic compounds have low melting and boiling points. Organic compounds have low solubility in polar solvents but are soluble in organic (nonpolar) solvents.


Fewer Constituent Elements
Organic compounds are formed from a smaller number of elements, such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, etc.

The phenomenon of isomerism is quite common in organic compounds. Isomerism is the phenomenon of the existence of different compounds having the same molecular formula but different structural formulae.

Homologous Series
When the members of a class of compounds are arranged in order of increasing molecular weights, they form a homologous series. All the compounds in this series have similar chemical properties but they differ in their physical properties. The members of a homologous series can be prepared by their general methods of preparation. These show a regular gradation in their physical properties, such as melting point, boiling point, solubility, density, etc. By studying one member of homologous series, one can know methods of preparation and properties of all other members of the series. It makes the study of organic chemistry easy and simple.

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