Introduction to Rings:
Many organic compounds contain rings of carbon atoms or other
atoms such as oxygen or nitrogen. The simplest ring compound
contains 3 carbons as in cyclopropane. The most common ring compounds
contain either 5 or 6 carbons. These compounds are also called
Although the simplest representation is that of a line drawing
of a pentagon as shown on the left. At each angle change is a
carbon atom, and each carbon has the correct number of hydrogens,
two each, to fulfill the 4 bond rule of carbon.
However, the ring is not flat as implied by the line drawings.
As shown in the ball and stick structure, the left most carbon
is tipped up from the ring. Within the constraints of a pentagon
shape, the carbons still try to maintain a tetrahedral geometry
as much as possible.
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