1. Why does ethanol dissolve in water, while diethyl ether does not?

  2. What factors determine the boiling points of compounds?

  3. What factors determine the acidity or basicity of a molecule? What are the approximate pK’s of carboxylic acids such as acetic acid, and of amines such as triethylamine?

  4. At pH 7, what is the state of ionization of glycine, of lysine, of glutamic acid, in water?

  5. What is an ion pair? What is a hydrogen bond? What is the hydrophobic effect? What is the role of van der Waals forces in molecular association?

  6. What is pyridine? imidazole? pyrimidine? phenol? folic acid? thiamine? pyridoxal? NAD? NADP?

  7. What is the structure of ATP? of coenzyme A? of heme?

  8. What is the structure of liquid water?


Students should be able to:

  1. Predict the three-dimensional structure of a molecule from its two-dimensional representation.

  2. Specify the axial and equatorial conformations of substituents in cyclic compounds such as steroids and carbohydrates.

  3. Write the structures of the building blocks of common biomolecules, such as the amino acids, the nucleotides, and the simple fatty acids and carbohydrates.

  4. Classify the sidechains of the amino acids as polar and non-polar, and indicate what relevance this has to the structure of proteins in water.

  5. Write the two-dimensional structure of a molecule from its chemical name.

  6. Look at a picture of a molecular model of a protein and understand what it represents.

  7. Write resonance structures for various delocalized molecules.

Properties of Macromolecules and Materials


  1. What are the covalent linkages in proteins, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides?

  2. What factors determine the three-dimensional conformational structures of these biopolymers?

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