Organic chemistry is the study of the compounds which are based on the element carbon, and these compounds are called "organic compounds." There are about 10 million known organic compounds, compared with about a million compounds which do not contain carbon (inorganic compounds). Organic compounds are particularly important because they include almost all those substances out of which living organisms are built: proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, vitamins, etc. At least some knowledge of organic chemistry is required of all students planning to enter a health care profession.
This Cabrillo course covers two full semesters. Completion of the full year sequence satisfies the premedical requirement, including medicine, osteopathy, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic, etc., as well as the needs of chemistry, biochemistry and biology majors. Other health care professions and biological science majors may have lesser organic chemistry requirements. These may be met by taking only the first semester (Chem 12A) or by Chem 30B, Introductory Organic and Biochemistry for Health Occupations.
Chem 12A (3 units) is the lecture part of the fall course. It meets for 3 hours per week.
Chem 12AL (2 units) is the fall semester lab portion. It meets for 6 hours per week.
Chem 12B (3 units) is the spring semester lecture portion. It meets for 3 hours per week.
Chem 12BL (2 units) is the spring semester lab portion. It meets for 6 hours per week.
The topics to be covered include spectroscopy, alkynes, ethers, dienes, aromatics, all families of carbonyl compounds, amines, phenols, proteins and carbohydrates. A unique feature of the Cabrillo course is that all tests are open-book. The intention of the course is for the student to develop an understanding of the major concepts of Organic Chemistry and the ability to solve complex problems using the logic of the science.
In the lab, students work individually, primarily at a microscale level, to carry out synthesis, separation and analysis projects. They use a gas chromatograph and an IR spectrophotometer. Every student will also be part of a small team which will work on a single semi-independent library and laboratory project during part of the semester.