SAT Subject Test Chemistry

PART 2

REVIEW OF MAJOR TOPICS

CHAPTER 14

Carbon and Organic Chemistry

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Organic chemistry may be defined simply as the chemistry of the compounds of carbon. Since Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea in 1828, chemists have synthesized thousands of carbon compounds in areas of dyes, plastic, textile fibers, medicines, and drugs. The number of organic compounds has been estimated to be in the neighborhood of a million and constantly increasing.

The carbon atom (atomic number 6) has four electrons in its outermost energy level, which show a tendency to be shared (electronegativity of 2.5) in covalent bonds. By this means, carbon bonds to other carbons, hydrogens, halogens, oxygen, and other elements to form the many compounds of organic chemistry.