Aliphatic compounds are the main subject but cyclic compounds are often used to
give a cleared illustration of a point. A few aromatic compounds are included to
illustrate similar behavior of aliphatic and aromatic compounds arising from a
common structural feature.
The rest of this chapter is concerned with the terms, representations and
abbreviations which are to be used and with some fundamental topics involved in
studying the functional groups. Although it is not necessary for us to delve
too deeply into organic theory a knowledge of the main features is required.
Most students will already have some familiarity with the material; helpful
accounts, pitched deliberately at an elementary level, are given in another
Primer. In most department s the study of functional groups is preceded or
accompanied by a course on theory and mechanism. However, this supplementation
cannot be assumed and to embark on the groups without some knowledge of certain
fundamentals would he difficult and unsatisfactory. To fill such a possible gap,
brief accounts of the topies germane to group chemistry are given in the
following sections. For fiction the
valence bond treatment is generally used, but simple molecular orbital theory is
introduced at certain points.