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What is an electrophile and how does it react with alkenes?

An electrophile is a positively charged or electron-deficient molecule that reacts with alkenes by forming a covalent bond.

Electrophiles are attracted to the electron-rich double bond of alkenes, which acts as a nucleophile. The electrophile attacks the double bond, breaking it and forming a new covalent bond with one of the carbon atoms. This results in the formation of a carbocation intermediate, which is highly reactive and can undergo further reactions.

One common example of an electrophilic addition reaction with alkenes is the reaction with hydrogen halides. In this reaction, the hydrogen halide molecule acts as the electrophile, with the hydrogen atom being the positively charged species. The hydrogen atom attacks the double bond of the alkene, forming a new covalent bond with one of the carbon atoms and breaking the double bond. The halide ion then attacks the carbocation intermediate, forming the final product.

Other examples of electrophilic addition reactions with alkenes include reactions with halogens, such as bromine and chlorine, and reactions with protic acids, such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid. These reactions all follow the same general mechanism, with the electrophile attacking the double bond and forming a carbocation intermediate.

Overall, understanding electrophilic addition reactions with alkenes is important in organic chemistry, as it allows for the synthesis of a wide range of organic compounds.

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