Foundations of Organic Chemistry

Course No. 1185
Associate Teaching Professor Ron B. Davis Jr., Ph.D.
Georgetown University
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Course No. 1185
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Take a detailed look at atomic structure and chemical bonding: the roots of organic chemistry.
  • numbers Discern the various types of chemical reactions: substitution, elimination, and addition.
  • numbers Take a biologically-oriented look at the foundations of organic chemistry with carbohydrates and sugars.
  • numbers Learn about purifying by recrystallization, distillation, extraction, and chromatography.

Course Overview

Chemistry is defined as the study of matter and its properties. With regard to this definition, the roots of the study of chemistry can be traced back to more than one ancient civilization. Most notably, the Greeks and Chinese each independently postulated thousands of years ago that there must be a small number of elemental substances from which all other things were created as admixtures. Remarkably, both civilizations theorized that air, earth, water, and fire were among those elements. It was much more recently, however—just about 300 years ago—that famed French nobleman and chemist Antoine Lavoisier correctly identified one of the elements experimentally. Lavoisier’s discovery is often cited as the event that heralded the birth of chemistry as a proper science. Theorizing based on observation of natural systems began to give way to controlled testing of the properties of matter, leading to an explosion of understanding, the echoes of which are still ringing in modern-day laboratories.

Organic chemistry is the subject dedicated to the study of a deceptively simple set of molecules—those based on carbon. Even today, centuries after the most basic governing principles of this subject were discovered, many students struggle to make sense of this science. At the university level, professors are often in a race against time to dispense the vast body of knowledge on organic chemistry to their students before semester’s end, leaving little time for discussion of exactly how this information came to be known or of just how new experimentation might change the world we live in. This course endeavors to fill that gap.

As humanity’s understanding of chemistry grew, so did the library of elements that had been isolated and identified, yet even as this library of elements grew, one of the simplest of them—carbon—seemed to play a very special and indispensable role in many small molecules. This was particularly true of the molecules harvested from living organisms. So obvious was the importance of this role that chemists dubbed the study of the fundamental molecules of life “organic chemistry,” a science that today has been expanded to include any molecule relying principally on carbon atoms as its backbone.

In this course, you will investigate the role of carbon in organic molecules—sometimes acting as a reactive site on molecules, sometimes influencing reactive sites on molecules, but always providing structural support for an ever-growing library of both naturally occurring and man-made compounds.

Other elements will join the story, bonding with carbon scaffolds to create compounds with a stunningly broad array of properties. Most notable are the elements hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, and bromine. The presence of these elements and others in organic chemistry spices up the party, but none of them can replace carbon in its central role.

The goal of this course is to take the uninitiated student on a tour of the development and application of the discipline of organic chemistry, noting some of the most famous minds to dedicate themselves to this science in the past few centuries, such as Dmitry Mendeleev (of periodic table fame), Friedrich Wöhler (the father of modern organic chemistry), and Alfred Nobel (the inventor of dynamite and founder of the most influential scientific prize in the history of humanity). You will also meet some very famous scientists from other fields whose forays into organic chemistry helped shape the science, such as Louis Pasteur of microbiology fame and Michael Faraday, the father of electromagnetism.

Approximately the first half of the course is dedicated to building the foundations of understanding modern organic chemistry. In this portion of the course, you will investigate the structure of the atom, the energetic rationale for chemical bonding between atoms to create compounds, how specific collections of atoms bonded in specific ways create motifs called functional groups, and ultimately the ways in which the bonds in these functional groups form and break in chemical reactions that can be used to convert one compound into another.

Next, you will apply that understanding of organic fundamentals to more complex, but often misunderstood, molecular systems, such as starches, proteins, DNA, and more. In the final portion of the course, you will turn your attention to how organic chemists purify and characterize their new creations in the laboratory, investigating techniques as ancient as distillation and as modern as nuclear magnetic studies.

After completing this course, the successful student will have all of the tools needed to have a meaningful dialogue with a practicing organic chemist about the theory behind his or her work, the interpretation of the results that he or she obtains in the lab, and—most of all—the impact that modern experimentation in organic chemistry might have on the future of humanity.

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36 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Why Carbon?
    Start exploring organic chemistry is foundations with a review of the basic science of chemistry (including atomic structure and the periodic table). Then, get an engaging introduction to organic chemistry: its origin, its evolution, its relationship to carbon, and its fascinating applications in everything from food to fuel to medicine. x
  • 2
    Structure of the Atom and Chemical Bonding
    Take a more detailed look at atomic structure and chemical bonding. What exactly drives an atomís desire to bond? What are the differences between ionic bonds, covalent bonds, and polar covalent bonds? How does the hybridization of atomic orbitals work, and how does it explain the complex geometries of carbon frameworks? x
  • 3
    Drawing Chemical Structures
    Investigate some of the key methods scientists employ to communicate the right structural information about molecular compounds, including their identity, the ratio of elements that comprise them, and their connectivity. Methods youíll explore include Fischer projections, Newman projections, and stereoimagesóall of which help us overcome the challenges of conveying the three-dimensional positions of atoms. x
  • 4
    Drawing Chemical Reactions
    Youíve learned how to depict molecules as they exist at a single point in time. How about as time passes? The answer: much like a cartoonist. Here, learn about this scientific art form, including writing reaction schemes, expanding them into elementary steps, using curved arrows to chart molecular progress, and more. x
  • 5
    Acid-Base Chemistry
    Focus on the first of several fundamental classes of reactions youíll encounter throughout this course: the proton transfer reaction. Youíll learn the three classifications of acids and bases; the Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and Lewis definitions; how chemists predict proton transfer reaction outcomes; two kinds of intramolecular proton transfer reactions; and more. x
  • 6
    Stereochemistry-Molecular Handedness
    Make sense of a crucial concept in organic chemistry: the handedness of molecules, or, as chemists call it, ìchirality.î Topics include the definition of chiral tetrahedral centers; the creation of stereoisomer sets via inversion of handedness; and intriguing examples of stereoisomers (including enantiomers and double-bonded stereoisomers) and their unique chiral centers. x
  • 7
    Alkanes-The Simplest Hydrocarbons
    Start examining various classes of organic compounds with alkanes, whose hydrocarbons consist entirely of hydrogen and carbon. How can a few simple carbon atoms lead to millions of possible alkane structures? How does structure affect their physical properties? And what curious role did they play in 19th-century whaling? x
  • 8
    Cyclic Alkanes
    Turn now to cyclic alkanes, in which the closing of a loop of carbons forms a whole new class of alkanes with properties all their own. As you learn more about this new class of hydrocarbons, youíll cover the phenomenon of ring strain, the equilibrium between chair conformers, and bicyclic hydrocarbons. x
  • 9
    Alkenes and Alkynes
    How can pi bonds change the chemistry of hydrocarbons? How did one of the greatest rivalries in chemistry lead to an understanding of trends in stability among regio- and stereoisomers with the same molecular formula? Why do terminal alkynes have such unusual acidity? Professor Davis has the answers to these and other questions. x
  • 10
    Alkyl Halides
    Explore alkyl halides, hydrocarbons where one or more hydrogen atoms are replaced by a halogen atom. Youíll examine how larger halogen atoms decrease the volatility of alkyl halides compared to their alkane counterparts (which radically changed the science of refrigeration). Youíll also learn about the reactivity of alkyl halides and the phenomenon of carbocation rearrangements. x
  • 11
    Substitution Reactions
    Investigate substitution reactions: one of the fundamental mechanisms by which one compound becomes another. The simple molecules youíve encountered so far can be altered in targeted ways and once you understand how these reactions work, Professor Davis says youíve reached ìa palpable threshold in the study of organic chemistry.î x
  • 12
    Elimination Reactions
    Cover the second class of organic reaction: eliminations, the primary method for producing alkenes. As youíll learn, elimination reactions proceed with the production of a byproduct formed by the leaving group; in contrast to substitution reactions, they involve a significant increase in entropy because they make more molecules than they consume. x
  • 13
    Addition Reactions
    Complete your mastery of the trifecta of fundamental organic reactions with a lecture on addition, which adds new groups to unsaturated molecules by sacrificing pi bonds for more stable sigma bonds. Youíll explore the basics of addition reactions; the hydrogenation of alkenes and alkines; the ways addition has helped create food additives; and much more. x
  • 14
    Alcohols and Ethers
    In this lecture, consider the important role of oxygen in organic chemistry. Among the topics youíll learn about here: the oxygen atom in sp3 hybridization states; techniques for synthesizing alcohols and ethers; and methods for activating alcohols into more reactive leaving groups (specifically sulfonate esters, phosphinate esters, and tosylates). x
  • 15
    Aldehydes and Ketones
    Continue exploring oxygenís role in organic chemistry. Here, Professor Davis introduces you to the properties and reactivity of two simple carbonyl compounds: aldehydes and ketones. What do we know about these oxygen-containing compounds and their chemistry? And whatís their curious connection with how you feel after a night of heavy drinking? x
  • 16
    Organic Acids and Esters
    Carboxylic acids and esters are two oxygen-containing compounds that possess multiple oxygen atoms with different hybridization states. First, look at two ways to prepare carboxylic acids. Then, examine how Fischer esterification produces esters. Finally, learn about retrosynthetic analysis, a tool that helps organic chemists address synthetic challenges. x
  • 17
    Amines, Imines, and Nitriles
    Turn now to nitrogen, which has played an important role in the chemistry of life since it began. Learn the chemistry of primary, secondary, and tertiary amines, the simplest of nitrogen-containing compounds. Also, consider imines (containing a pi-bond to nitrogen) and nitriles (where two pi bonds are present), including the simplest and most well-known nitrile: hydrogen cyanide. x
  • 18
    Nitrates, Amino Acids, and Amides
    Nitroglycerine, dynamite, TNT. What do these explosives have in common? They all contain highly reactive compounds that combine nitrogen and oxygen in organics. Look closely at these and other materials in this in-depth lecture on functional groups containing nitrogen and oxygen that covers everything from nitrate esters to trinitrotoluene to amino acids. x
  • 19
    Conjugation and the Diels-Alder Reaction
    Start by examining the phenomenon of conjugation involving multiple, resonating pi bonds and the extra stability that they endow on organic compounds. Then, explore two reactions (including one that resulted in a Nobel Prize) involved in conjugated diene reactivity. Finally, spend some time investigating the relationship between frontier molecular orbits and thermally activated reactions. x
  • 20
    Benzene and Aromatic Compounds
    Get better acquainted with benzene and a class of compounds known as aromatics, as well as the role aromaticity plays in dictating the acid-base properties of organics. Also, learn about polynuclear aromatics, buckminsterfullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and carbon fibersóall at the forefront of cutting-edge research going on in labs around the world. x
  • 21
    Modifying Benzene-Aromatic Substitution
    Build on your understanding of aromatics by investigating a very useful class of reactions: electrophilic aromatic substitution. Whatís the general mechanism by which these reactions occur? What are some of the many modifications chemists can make to benzeneóand how can these already modified benzenes be further modified? What role did this reaction play in the synthesis of one of the most infamous organic compounds of all time, DDT? x
  • 22
    Sugars and Carbohydrates
    Start taking a more biologically oriented look at the foundations of organic chemistry by investigating compounds known as carbohydrates. Examine Fischer projections of their two main classes, aldoses and ketoses; learn how cyclic sugars help create disaccharides and polysaccharides used in everything from fruit preserves to body armor; and more. x
  • 23
    DNA and Nucleic Acids
    Professor Davis introduces you to ribose, the central component of both RNA and DNA. Starting from individual molecules and motifs, youíll progressively work your way up toward a full model for the structure of the sub-units involved in our genetic code. This lecture is proof of organic chemistryís powerful role in establishing who you are. x
  • 24
    Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins
    Proteins make up 20 percent of your bodyís mass. They mediate almost every chemical reaction in the human body, and theyíre found in everything from medicine to detergents. Here, make sense of the intricate, beautiful structures and interactions of proteins. Also, take a peek at how theyíre created in labs for further study. x
  • 25
    Metals in Organic Chemistry
    Probe the connections between biology and metals with this lecture on some compounds and reactions in the field of organometallic chemistry. As youíll quickly learn, organometallics have a range of practical applications; one example youíll encounter is Dotarem, an organometallic compound used to help detect tumors in cancer patients. x
  • 26
    Synthetic Polymers
    Complete your survey of organic compounds with the largest organic molecules of all: polymers. To better understand this versatile class of compounds, youíll learn about the two general classes of polymers (addition and condensation), how theyíre designed, and how theyíve changed the world (one example: vulcanized rubber). x
  • 27
    UV-Visible Spectroscopy
    How do organic chemists actually prove the behavior of molecules and chemical structures youíve learned about in the preceding lectures? The answer: spectroscopy, which entails the observation of the interaction between matter and light. In the first of several lectures on the topic, focus specifically on observations made with the UV-visible spectrum. x
  • 28
    Infrared Spectroscopy
    Transition to the other side of the visible spectrum and discover how infrared spectroscopy provides chemists with different information about structures. In doing so, youíll come to see molecular structures in a new light: not as rigid constructs but as dynamic, vibrating frameworks with bonds that can stretch and bend. x
  • 29
    Measuring Handedness with Polarimetry
    Continue your in-depth look at spectroscopy with a focus on the plane polarization of light, and the ability of chiral molecules to rotate plane-polarized light. Who discovered this scientific phenomenon? How is it observed, and with what specific tools? Find out in this lecture that deftly blends science and history. x
  • 30
    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
    Visit the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for insights into how tiny, atom-sized magnets in organic molecules interact with radio waves (and each other) to produce a complex set of magnetic resonancesówhich are one of the gold-standard identification tools used in modern organic chemistry. Topics include Zeeman splitting, magnetic spin-spin coupling, and multiplets. x
  • 31
    Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques
    In this final lecture on spectroscopic techniques, discover the importance of modern NMR spectrometers, which use superconducting magnets and radio receivers to collect spectra with more speed and precision (and in different ways) than other techniques. Also, get an intriguing lesson in the human elementóand limitationsóinvolved in spectroscopy. x
  • 32
    Purifying by Recrystallization
    How are organic materials purified for both study and practical use? One staple technique is recrystallization, which relies on the tendency of organic molecules to form highly ordered crystals. Topics here include the effect of impurities on organic crystalline solids; the phenomenon of incongruent melting; and more. x
  • 33
    Purifying by Distillation
    Another purification method is distillation, used for producing potable water, refining oil, and more. First, examine the fundamental laws governing this influential chemical technique. Then, get a closer look at distillation apparatuses commonly used for vaporization and condensation. Finally, learn about azeotropesómixtures of liquids that are impossible to distill. x
  • 34
    Purifying by Extraction
    Discover how solubility makes for an extremely effective tool for isolating non-volatile organic compounds through liquid-liquid and solid-liquid extractions (part of a larger phenomenon known as partitioning). As you delve into these processes, youíll learn one way to better understand extractions: making a perfect cup of tea. x
  • 35
    Purifying by Chromatography
    Chromatographyóin which partitioning between stationary and mobile phases leads to predictable rates of movement for compoundsóis one of the most powerful separation techniques ever developed. And, when done properly, it allows chemists to isolate almost anything they can imagine. Witness a technique at the core of Professor Davisís laboratory experience. x
  • 36
    The Future of Organic Chemistry
    Finish the course by peering into the future of this fascinating field. How can groundbreaking chemical advancements help us stave off global famineóand even help us live on other planets? By exploring questions like these, youíll truly understand how organic chemistry can help us build a better world. x

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  • 36 lectures on 6 DVDs
  • 296-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
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What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

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Course Guidebook Details:
  • 296-page course synopsis
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  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Ron B. Davis Jr.

About Your Professor

Ron B. Davis Jr., Ph.D.
Georgetown University
Dr. Ron B. Davis, Jr. is an Associate Teaching Professor of Chemistry at Georgetown University, where he has been teaching introductory organic chemistry laboratories since 2008. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to teaching chemistry at the undergraduate level, Professor Davis spent several years as a pharmaceutical research and development chemist. Professor Davis’s...
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Foundations of Organic Chemistry is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 98.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging videos Really nice visuals and engaging stories for how theories have been developed
Date published: 2020-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific teaching Love the subject and prof. Would have rated it higher if Ron hadn't introduced the series with the obligatory darwinistic religious dogma. Aside from that attempt at indoctrination it's terrific and enjoyable learning!
Date published: 2020-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wish Prof Davis had taught me organic chemistry when I took my degree. I gravitated to inorganic because I understood it so much better. This course might have made a difference. So much that was new in my day (1964) is now well established fact. It has been a great refresher. Thank you Now I need to watch it all again.
Date published: 2020-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Foundations of Organic Chemistry I bought this course in early 2018 or late 2017. I've read it twice and just finished again today. I've seen the DVDs. I also have the Inorganic Chemistry book and DVD set. The binding is phenomenal. I've bent this thing, been through humidity, an enormous amount of page tags, written and scribbled in it, erased, and spilled beer. This thing won't fall apart unlike some other cheap books I've had where on day one the pages are falling out. This hasn't been just a reading book but a serious working book. I am most pleased!
Date published: 2020-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fluent Learning in Organic Chemistry It is very helpful to anyone in medical profession. Easy to follow.
Date published: 2019-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good for updating ones chemistry knowledge. I would only recommend this course if one is reviewing/updating one knowledge. I might recommend the just "chemistry" first. Here we go with a prereq. If you are willing to go down the rabbit hole, good. It will awaken some new brain cells.
Date published: 2019-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from organic chemistry I am an older person. Bought this course to enhance my basic organic chemistry knowledge. Instructor is excellent and has many creative models to enhance the learning experience.
Date published: 2019-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done Usually I am more of a book Learner than video because lectures move faster than I can think, but in this case especially we are learning 3-D structures and this presentation is a quantum leap beyond what is possible with a book. If only the scientists could leave out the teaching of evolution it would be nearly perfect ! So I recommend skipping the first 20 minutes, then enjoy! The idea of vitalism has not really been disproved as he states because life force can not be measured with instruments humans can build, and it is not as simple as synthesis of any carbon compound. In other words, we cannot have both the laws of thermodynamics and evolution, which is philosophy not science. Other than that I really love it!
Date published: 2019-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very nicely done. I like this course a lot. I've viewed many courses from this company and this is the first one that used virtual reality to illustrate the subject material. I'm not sure, but it looks like they used a Microsoft HoloLens to get these 3D animation shots. This is a state of the arts production matched up with a high quality professor. Hope to see many more virtual reality graphics in future courses.
Date published: 2019-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title says it all. Organic chemistry is presented in a way a novice like myself can immerse themselves with a top level professor in a course with great graphics and stimulating instruction. Extremely glad for my purchase.
Date published: 2019-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific presentations! I received this purchase two weeks ago and I've watched 5 lectures so far. I love it! The professor is, obviously, brilliant in the subject matter and delivers it wonderfully. Though not by formal education, I am a Chemistry buff and truly enjoy how this professor runs his course. I am very impressed and highly recommend this for people that have some Chemistry background (high school or college class) and like the material. It may be difficult for some who haven't had much experience with the topic.
Date published: 2019-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Organic Chemistry We have had the article about Organic Chemistry for a while now. It is very interesting to me; this is my third attempt to understand Organic Chemistry. My first try was during my high school term. Second was during my Bachelors Degree preparation. Now I am retired and have even less time to listen. So I keep re-listening so I can learn it for the last time. The professor is such a knowledgeable man, it is clear what he is trying to get me to understand. If it weren’t for my stubborn brain!!
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Comprehensive I am still enjoying and absorbing the course material. Expect to roll up your sleeves and put on your thinking cap. The lectures are thorough and well organized.
Date published: 2019-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good course but with some viewing difficulty I studied organic chemistry in college decades ago and now that I'm retired I thought I would like to review this course and learn what is new. I think the professor does an outstanding job laying out and discussing the many subjects covered in a college course on organic chemistry. The course is very dense and I need to repeat sections to increase my grasp of the material, which is one of the many great benefits Great Courses provides. The main frustration I have with viewing these lectures is the use of what I will call screen framing from time to time. Essentially the viewing area is reduced in size and a frame is put around the video. This is used often when graphic displays of reactions are being discussed. Why on earth would you do this?? The result is that this older viewer/student has to walk closer to the TV set to read what is being put on the screen. There is no value added to this type of display that I can see or not see as it were.
Date published: 2019-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from VERY DETAILED The lecturer is very well informed with excellent graphics. I was not expecting to get into the weeds as much as this course does. I am well educated in engineering with only a casual contact with organic chemistry. I was expecting more of an overview than this detailed study.
Date published: 2018-11-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nice catchy title I bought this for a person that is interested in Chemistry, I have not even given it to them yet.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very accurate description I love it!! Although I have recently taken a chemistry course in college, this course actually help to put many of things I have already learned into perspective. I also subscribe to the "The Great Corses Sigature Subscription Channel," and I also love those. Michelle
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent teacher and course This probably is the best course in math and science that has been produced. The lessons review the basic chemistry so you are not left behind. Caution you must have had a good chemistry course to even begin this course. Evaluate your knowledge before trying the course.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well organized I always wanted to learn more about organic chemistry. This course provides an excellent opportunity to learn the basics of organic chemistry.
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good graphics and explainations As I chemist with formal training 40 years ago, it is a very nice refresher.
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from for gifted children, a must have Just ordered two more copies for each of my youngest kids, kids. This is the purpose of grandma's, get them ready to take the Merit Scholarship testing, etc.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from right on! I bought this to learn more about bonding in DNA and related chemical bonds. I found what I was looking for.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from General Suggestions 1. Provide full transcript of lectures not just course outline. 2. Choose more scholars of religious literature that allow for the possibility that what it teaches could validly be interpreted as true. 3. My wife buys me courses under her account, and I have course under my separate account. How can they be merged?
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professor Davis is excellent. I'm only up to lecture 9 but Professor Davis is well organized and his presentation is clear. The visuals are well done. It is clear from the presentation that the viewer is expected to have had basic college chemistry and ideally, organic chemist. That could be said for all of your university level academic courses. I personally benefit from the inclusion of history and persons in any science or mathematics course. It helps me retain the scientific or mathematical content.
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Difficult I admit that I watched only seven or eight of the lectures. They were over my head and I'm not really qualified to say how useful this course would be to someone with a chemistry background. I'm reviewing only to point out that this course, unlike the other science courses from The Great Courses, requires a background in chemistry. My 14-year old niece is interested in the sciences, and though this course is not good place to start, I'll pass it on to her if she really does pursue science.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Abstract for the Uninitiated I worked through this course four times. I also bought "Chemistry and Our Universe" same professor. I discovered that after working through Chemistry and Our Universe, the Organic Chemistry course made a lot of sense. However, the Organic Chemistry course devotes 18 lecture to foundation which are never placed into context with graphics and examples from the real world. Emphasis is on notation, atomic and molecular structure, both as abstractions with no or scant real real examples and lacking visual aids. This course is fantastic for anyone working in the industry, working for a chemist, or scientist in a capacity where knowledge of every scientific chemical notation would be required. To state this is for the so-called 'uninitiated student' is totally not true. I still believe it is a superior reference course, and having it to look up material is very valuable to me. I wish it had been presented in the same manner as his newer course Chemistry and Our Universe, with graphics, and real world examples of the various molecular substances presented.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 1.5 years packed into 36 lectures I learned more in these 36 lectures than I did in an entire 3 semesters of organic chemistry taught at the Bachelor of Science level. Dr. Davis is excellent and does a great job of breaking down a difficult subject into understandable lectures.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Organic Chemistry explained so we can understand Review of Foundations of Organic Chemistry by Ron Davis 5 Star Very good. Extensive coverage of most major topics in Organic Chemistry. Clear, enthusiastic & knowledgeable speaker. Looks at the TV, feels like he is looking at me & interested in explaining many concepts directly to me. Has very good, and unusual graphics, including holograms in 3 D. Good meaningful demonstrations, clearly explained. Viewer should have some background in general chemistry before. Not designed for audio. Some people fear such a course. This should dispel any fear & I found great excitement about the subject. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent presentation I am 70 years old. I received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1968. I have a Doctor of Optometry degree. I have had faculty positions at Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine and the University of Missouri, St. Louis School of Optometry. I appreciate excellent teaching. I would recommend this course for every college level Chemistry student as an adjunct to the classroom curriculum. The course allows you to delve into the details while maintaining the overall view of the subject matter. Well done.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My error - I needed "fundamentals" I have taken about six dozen of the Great Courses and this is the first I am sending back. The scope of the course, the level of detail, the organic chemistry language and the rapidity of the material covered were too much for me. Back in my days I did well and enjoyed college chemistry but that is not enough background to prepare me for this course. Please note that I have rated the course 5 stars everywhere. The fact that I couldn't keep up does not justify my evaluation being anything other than 5 stars. The computer generated visuals are stunning. The professor knows his material and knows how to present it. If one has studied organic chemistry, this course would be a stroll down memory lane with the GC visuals being a bonus. If one is taking college organic chemistry, I would think this course would be a powerful adjunct and the GC visuals enlightening. If one is a "civilian" to organic chemistry as am I, I can't recommend it. Metaphorically speaking I have asked the bus driver for a transfer ticket and am waiting at the bus stop for an organic chemistry course whose title would contain words like "fundamentals", organic chemistry 101, and/or "for dummies". My thirst is not quenched.
Date published: 2017-02-24
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