How do resonance structures and isomers differ?

1 Answer
Aug 11, 2014

Answer:

Short answer: Resonance structures differ in the location of electrons. Isomers differ in the location of atoms.

Explanation:

Resonance structures represent the same compound.

For example, acetone has two resonance contributors.

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They differ only in that a pair of π electrons has moved onto the oxygen atom. Only the electrons move, not the atoms.

The molecule is a resonance hybrid of the two structures.

Dimethyl ether and ethanol are isomers. They have different chemical and physical properties.

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Converting dimethyl ether to ethanol requires breaking a C-O and a C-H σ bond and forming new C-C and O-H σ bonds. The atoms change positions and form two different compounds.

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