When naming an alkane, is the main chain the longest continuous carbon chain regardless of bends?

1 Answer
Oct 29, 2016


Well, yes.


When you draw out a long chain organic molecule, it is usually a good idea to assume the maximum symmetry possible. What I mean here is that of course the chain bends and folds, but we should properly consider it to be a straight chain when assessing symmetry.

Thus #"n-hexane, "C_6H_12# is assumed to have 3 carbon environments, 1 methyl, and 2 methylene. Spectroscopic analysis agrees with the assumption, as it should.