Identifying Radicals

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Ashley Osorio
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Identifying Radicals

Postby Ashley Osorio » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:54 pm

How do we know when a molecule is meant to be a radical? Can someone give an example other than CH3?? Thank you :(

Also, I understand how radicals are an exception to the octet rule, but is that all their importance is tied to? Why are they important to know??

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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby RRahimtoola1I » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:59 pm

Can someone explain this by using a Lewis structure too?

Ashley, I think they are important because they are highly reactive and exist for a short time.

Helen Struble 2F
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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby Helen Struble 2F » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:21 pm

Given that this is chemistry for life science majors, radicals are particularly important because they can wreak havoc on biological systems. Since they are so reactive, they can react with important biological molecules, even DNA, causing mutations.

I'm pretty sure radicals come into play when any valid, octet-following Lewis structure has a formal charges that make it very unlikely to exist naturally. Or, when there are an odd number of available valence electrons. I think this usually occurs because a bond has been broken, for instance, the hydroxyl radical, HO results from the splitting of water.

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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby Martina » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:46 pm

I think you can usually tell it is a radical if there is an odd number of valence electrons.

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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby McKenna_4A » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:07 pm

It couldn't hurt to memorize a few common radicals (i.e. the ones we talked about in lecture).

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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby RoshniVarmaDis1K » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:31 pm

A radical is a molecule whose Lewis Dot Structure has an unpaired valence electron.

This makes it highly reactive, and thus, important to biological processes.

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Re: Identifying Radicals

Postby Khushboo_3D » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:46 pm

An example of this can be oxygen I think, because it has 2 unpaired electrons in its valence shell. The textbook also defines radicals as any species having unpaired spins.

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