An Introduction to Chemical Nomenclature by R. S. Cahn M.A., Dr. Phil. nat., F.R.I.C. (auth.)

By R. S. Cahn M.A., Dr. Phil. nat., F.R.I.C. (auth.)

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127-132. 32 3 ORGANIC: GENERAL Organic chemical nomenclature is an infuriating subject. Since 1}-2 million organic compounds are known and it is a century since Couper and Kekule explained the fundamental principles of structure, we might expect chemists to define the constitutions and interrelations in an orderly way. Instead, systems of nomenclature pre-dating Kekule survive; Heilbron's Dictionary! Abstract8 Indexes4) show bewildering differences; and Stelzner's LiteraturRegister0 and the Ring Indea;6 give different names for about half the cyclic skeletons common to them.

For ring systems there is a prescribed numbering (outlined in Chapter 7) which often leaves little or no room for choice according to the substituents present. However, so far as choice remains, lowest numbers are given to (1) "indicated" hydrogen (see p. , alphabetical). The simplest case is when the numbering of the parent compound is entirely fixed in advance, as occurs with many cyclic compounds (see following chapter). Substituents in, say, indole can have only one number each; compound (I) must be 5-chloro-1-methylindole3-carboxylic acid.

Polyatomic cations formed by adding protons to monoatomic anions have the ending -onium: ammonium, phosphonium, arsonium, oxonium (H 30+), sulphonium, selenonium, telluronium, iodonium. , hydroxylammonium, tetramethylstibonium, dimethyloxonium (CH 3 )20H+. For nitrogen bases other than ammonia and its substitution products the cations are named by changing the final -e to -ium: anilinium, imidazolium, glycinium, etc. N 2Ht is hydrazinium(l +); N 2H~+ is hydrazinium(2+ ). Uronium and thiouronium (from urea and thiourea) are exceptions.

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