Aldehydes and Ketones

Each list begins with basic conceptual vocabulary you need to know for MCAT questions and proceeds to advanced terms that might appear in context in MCAT passages. The terms are links to Wikipedia articles.
Alpha carbon
The alpha carbon in an aldehyde or ketone refers to the first carbon after the carbonyl carbon.
Addition reaction
In an addition reaction two or more molecules combine to form a larger one.
Enols are alkenes with a hydroxyl group affixed to one of the carbon atoms composing the double bond.
Keto-enol tautomerism
Keto-enol tautomerism refers to a chemical equilibrium between a keto form and an enol.
An aldol adduct is a beta-hydroxy ketone or aldehyde resulting from the addition of a ketone enolate to an aldehyde.
Acetalisation is an organic reaction that involves the formation of an acetal or ketal.
An acetal is a molecule with two single bonded oxygens are attached to the same carbon atom which is also bonded to an alkyl or aryl group and a hydrogen.
Protecting group
A protecting group is introduced into a molecule by chemical modification of a functional group in order to obtain chemoselectivity in a subsequent chemical reaction.
Grignard reaction
The Grignard reaction is an organometallic chemical reaction involving alkyl- or aryl-magnesium halides with electrophiles.
Enolate anion
An enolate anion is the anion of an enol, formed by loss of a proton from the alpha carbon of a carbonyl group.
Nucleophilic conjugate addition
Nucleophilic conjugate addition occurs by reaction of a nucleophile at the beta position of alpha-beta unsaturated carbonyl compounds.
Tollens reagent
Tollens' reagent is usually ammoniacal silver nitrate, an oxidizing agent, which is itself reduced to silver metal. It is used as a test for aldehydes.
A ketal is a molecule with two single bonded oxygens attached to the same carbon atom which is also bonded to two alkyl or aryl groups.
Schiff base
A Schiff base is a functional group that contains a carbon-nitrogen double bond with the nitrogen atom connected to an aryl or alkyl group, but not hydrogen.
An enone is an unsaturated chemical compound or functional group consisting of a conjugated system of an alkene and a ketone.
Cyanohydrin reaction
The cyanohydrin reaction is an organic reaction by an aldehyde or ketone with a cyanide anion or a nitrile to form a cyanohydrin.
Wolff-Kishner reduction
The Wolff-Kishner reduction is a chemical reaction that fully reduces an aldehyde or ketone to an alkane.
An enamine is an unsaturated compound derived by the reaction of an aldehyde or ketone with a secondary amine followed by loss of a molecule of water.
Haloform reaction
The haloform reaction is a chemical reaction where a haloform is produced by the multiple halogenation of a methyl ketone in the presence of a base.
Alkylimino-de-oxo-bisubstitution in organic chemistry is the organic reaction of carbonyl compounds with amines to imines.
Wittig reaction
The Wittig reaction is a chemical reaction of an aldehyde or ketone with a triphenyl phosphonium ylide to give an alkene and triphenylphosphine oxide.
Thioacetals are the sulfur analogue of acetals. They are prepared in a similar way to acetals: by reacting a thiol with an aldehyde.
Iodoform reaction
The iodoform test is a qualitative chemical test for the detection of ketones and aldehydes carrying an alpha methyl group in which the reagents are iodine and sodium hydroxide.
Clemmensen reduction
The Clemmensen reduction is a chemical reaction described as a reduction of aldehydes or ketones to alkanes using zinc amalgam and hydrochloric acid.
Reductive amination
Reductive amination is a chemical reaction which involves the conversion of a carbonyl group to an amine.
Michael addition
The Michael addition is the nucleophilic addition of an carbanion to an alpha, beta unsaturated carbonyl compound. It is one of tne of the most useful methods for the mild formation of carbon-carbon bonds.
Pinacol coupling reaction
A pinacol coupling reaction is an organic reaction in which a carbon-carbon covalent bond is formed between the carbonyl groups of an aldehyde or a ketone in presence of an electron donor in a free radical process.
Cannizzaro reaction
The Cannizzaro reaction is a chemical reaction that involves the base-induced disproportionation of an aldehyde lacking a hydrogen atom in the alpha position.
Corey-Fuchs reaction
The Corey-Fuchs reaction is a series of chemical reactions designed to transform an aldehyde into an alkyne.
Johnson-Corey-Chaykovsky reaction
The Johnson-Corey-Chaykovsky reaction is a chemical reaction in which a carbonyl is converted to an epoxide by the action of a sulfonium ylide.
Willgerodt rearrangement
The Willgerodt rearrangement is an organic reaction converting an aryl alkyl ketone to the corresponding amide by reaction with ammonium polysulfide.
Stork enamine alkylation
The Stork enamine alkylation involves the addition of an enamine to an alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl acceptor in a process similar to the Michael reaction. The product is then hydrolyzed by an aqueous acid to produce a 1,5-dicarbonyl compound.

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