Organic compound

related topics
{acid, form, water}
{theory, work, human}
{math, number, function}
{disease, patient, cell}
{group, member, jewish}

An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon and cyanides, as well as the allotropes of carbon such as diamond and graphite, are considered inorganic. The distinction between "organic" and "inorganic" carbon compounds, while "useful in organizing the vast subject of chemistry... is somewhat arbitrary".[1]

Organic chemistry is the science concerned with all aspects of organic compounds. Organic synthesis is the methodology of their preparation.

Contents

History

Vitalism

The name "organic" is historical, dating back to the 1st century.[citation needed] For many centuries, Western alchemists believed in vitalism. This is the theory that certain compounds could only be synthesized from their classical elements — Earth, Water, Air and Fire — by action of a "life-force" (vis vitalis) possessed only by organisms. Vitalism taught that these "organic" compounds were fundamentally different from the "inorganic" compounds that could be obtained from the elements by chemical manipulation.

Vitalism survived for a while even after the rise of modern atomic theory and the replacement of the Aristotelian elements by those we know today. It first came under question in 1824, when Friedrich Wöhler synthesized oxalic acid, a compound known to occur only in living organisms, from cyanogen.[citation needed] A more decisive experiment was Wöhler's 1828 synthesis of urea from the inorganic salts potassium cyanate and ammonium sulfate. Urea had long been considered to be an "organic" compound as it was known to occur only in the urine of living organisms. Wöhler's experiments were followed by many others, where increasingly complex "organic" substances were produced from "inorganic" ones without the involvement of any living organism.[citation needed]

Full article ▸

related documents
Hexose
Biotite
Silicate
Chemical reaction
Plasmolysis
Synthetic element
Fermium
Strong acid
Plagioclase
Cinnabar
Butane
Messenger RNA
Alkaline earth metal
Aldehyde
Aqueous solution
Metabolic pathway
SH3 domain
Synthetic radioisotope
Flavin
Coordinate covalent bond
Serine
DNA ligase
Actinoid
Aspartic acid
Polyvinylpyrrolidone
Einsteinium
Radiogenic
Millerite
Stereoisomerism
Macromolecule