Four Unsolved Problems

Once you get used to them, you may find that the problems
in your textbook have a game-like quality. If you make the right mental
“moves”, you will nearly always solve the problem. It’s a nice way to
get started thinking about organic chemistry, but not terribly realistic.
Modern organic chemists spend most of their time working on problems that can’t
be solved just by making the right moves. These problems are both scientific
and technological and if we ever solve them, we will change how the entire world thinks and lives.

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The Joys of Being a Chemistry Student

My first genuine taste of organic chemistry came in my sophomore year of college (73-74). I studied from a large (1000 page) textbook not too different from yours. There was a lot to remember, but I was doing alright until the second quarter when a subtle and unannounced change in the book quite threw me. Continue reading

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