With this edition we bring Scott Snyder on board as a co-author. We’re very excited to have Scott join our team. Scott brings a rich resource of new perspectives to the book, particularly in the arena of complex molecule synthesis. Scott has infused new examples and applications of exciting chemistry that help achieve our goals. In addition to adding his perspectives to the presentation of core chemistry throughout the book, Scott’s work is manifest in most of this edition’s chapter openers and in all of the chapter closers, couched in a new feature called “Why do these topics matter?”.
“Why do these topics matter?” is a new feature that bookends each chapter with a teaser in the opener and a captivating example of organic chemistry in the closer. The chapter opener seeks to whet the student’s appetite both for the core chemistry in that chapter as well as a prize that comes at the end of the chapter in the form of a “Why do these topics matter?” vignette. These new closers consist of fascinating nuggets of organic chemistry that stem from research relating to medical, environmental, and other aspects of organic chemistry in the world around us, as well as the history of the science. They show the rich relevance of what students have learned to applications that have direct bearing on our lives and wellbeing. For example, in Chapter 6, the opener talks about the some of the benefits and drawbacks of making substitutions in a recipe, and then compares such changes to the nucleophilic displacement reactions that similarly allow chemists to change molecules and their properties. The closer then shows how exactly such reactivity has enabled scientists to convert simple table sugar into the artificial sweetener Splenda which is 600 times as sweet, but has no calories!
Laying the foundation earlier Certain tools are absolutely key to success in organic chemistry. Among them is the ability to draw structural formulas quickly and correctly. In this edition, we help students learn these skills even sooner than ever before by moving coverage of structural formulas and the use curved arrows earlier in the text (Section 3.2). We have woven together instruction about Lewis structures, covalent bonds, and dash structural formulas, so that students build their skills in these areas as a coherent unit, using organic examples that include alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and alkyl halides. One could say that it’s a “use organic to teach organic” approach.