Lesson 4, Topic 1
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What are isomers?

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There are 3 different types of structural isomer:

  1. Chain isomers  

  • The carbon skeleton can be arranged differently –  for example, as a straight chain, or branched in different ways

  • These isomers have similar chemical properties  but their physical properties, like boiling point will be different because of the change in shape of the molecule

  2. Positional isomers  

  • The skeleton and the functional group could be the same, only with the functional group attached to a different carbon atom

  • These also have different physical properties and the chemical properties might be different too

  3. Functional group isomers  

  • The same atoms can be arranged into different functional groups

  • These have very different physical and chemical properties