The Tragedy of Hamlet, Son of an Organic Chemist of DenmarkJournal of Chemical Education (2004)
Once faced with structure–reactivity relationships in the context of nucleophilic substitution at sp3carbon, introductory organic chemistry students must compare and contrast the various attributes and ramifications of SN2 versus SN1 reaction pathways. The dramatic (even melodramatic) way in which some students ask such comparative questions inspired a parody of Hamlet's famous to be or not to be soliloquy. Herein, Hamlet (the son of an organic chemist of Denmark) is the surrogate of any and every student as he uses a thoroughly Shakespearian approach to sorting out some of the key distinguishing features of SN2 versus SN1 reactions.
- Organic Chemistry,
Publication DateApril 1, 2004
Citation InformationRonald Brisbois. "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Son of an Organic Chemist of Denmark" Journal of Chemical Education Vol. 81 Iss. 4 (2004) p. 502 ISSN: 1938-1328
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ronald_brisbois/16/