Organic chemistry

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Organic chemistry is the study of organic molecules (that is, compounds containing carbon), their properties, and the chemical reactions they perform. Almost all chemical reactions involving living matter fall under the realm of organic chemistry. Most experiments involving abiogenesis also fall within the realm of organic chemistry.


Organic chemistry started as a modern science in the 1700s when differences were noticed between reactions using components from living sources and those involving minerals. Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman noticed these differences and coined the terms organic and inorganic[1] Until 1816, scientists believed that there was some missing "vital force" only found in natural organisms which causes organic reactions to happen. This was disproved when chemist Michael Chevreul found that he could separate soap, which is created by adding a base to animal fat, into fatty acids and glycerin without the help of a "vital force".

See also


  1. McMurry, John. Organic Chemistry, 6e. Brooks/Cole: 2004.