In 1926, Professor J. F. Thorpe wrote a paper about the scope of organic chemistry published in Nature [1]. Organic chemistry is defined as the chemistry of compounds of carbons covers a wide field, wider than covered by any other elements. Its scope embraces all living matter as well as the vast number of non-living substances which are produced through the agency of live. This can be a very great number of compound unrelated to life or to living processes which have been built up by chemist in the laboratory by method he has devised.  Application of organic compounds is enormous and also includes, but is not limited to pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food, explosives, paints, and cosmetics [2].

In modern definition, organic chemistry [3] is about the study of the structure and reactions of compounds in nature including the reasons behind those structures. Moreover, according to Professor Smith in his book “Advances Organic Chemistry“, three fundamental aspects [4] of the study organic chemistry are: structure, reaction, mechanism. In more detail, Organic Chemistry is about the shapes of these molecules and how the shape relates to their function, especially in the context of biology. It explains how these structures and shapes are discovered. It tells you about the reactions the molecules undergo and, more importantly, how and why they behave in the way they do. It tells you about nature and about industry. It tells you how molecules are made and how you too can think about making molecules. This is the landscape through which you are about to travel. And, as with any journey to somewhere new, exciting, and sometimes challenging, the first thing is to make sure you have at least some knowledge of the local language. Fortunately the language of organic chemistry couldn’t be simpler: it’s all pictures.

To date, there are Nobel Prizes in Organic Chemistry [5] which includes three important fields of this subject: Chemistry of Natural Products, Methodologies in Organic Chemistry, and Polymer Chemistry as well as some general aspects in Organic Chemistry.


[1]  Thorpe, J. F. The Scope of Organic Chemistry. Nature 1926118, 483-486.

[2] chemistry/organic-chemistry.html

[3] Clayden, J.; Greeves, N.; Warren, S. What is Organic Chemistry? Organic Chemistry. Second Edition; Oxford University Press: New York, 2012; 2-14.

[4] Smith, M. B.; March, J. March’s Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure. Seven Edition; John Willey & Sons, Inc: New York, 2013, xiii-xv.

[5] “Nobel Prizes in Organic Chemistry”. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 13 Feb 2016. < chemistry/organic_chemistry.html>


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