P1001: Structural determination in organic chemistry: Evidence from journal reports from the nineteenth century to today and their influence on how students learn structural determination
One of the primary questions chemists ask is “What is this substance?” Early answers to this question focused on composition or elemental analysis as structural arrangements were assumed to be unknowable. With the introduction of structural theory in the last half of the nineteenth century chemists began to look for evidence of the constitution or actual arrangement of atoms in molecules. Early evidence was based on wet chemistry methods, analogy, and derivatives. In current articles, evidence for structural arrangement is very instrumental – primarily IR, NMR, and MS. This presentation will compare specific examples of structural determination from the literature over a number of decades, as well as examples of how structural evidence in the literature has changed the way structural determination is taught in the undergraduate curriculum.