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What is the Zaitsev rule and how does it relate to organic chemistry?

The Zaitsev rule is a principle in organic chemistry that predicts the major product of a dehydrohalogenation reaction.

When a halogenated alkane undergoes dehydrohalogenation, a hydrogen atom is removed from the beta-carbon atom adjacent to the halogen, resulting in the formation of an alkene. The Zaitsev rule states that the major product of this reaction will be the alkene with the most substituted double bond, meaning the double bond with the most alkyl groups attached to the carbon atoms.

This rule is based on the principle that the formation of a more substituted double bond is thermodynamically favored, as it is more stable due to the increased electron density from the alkyl groups. The Zaitsev rule is not always applicable, as there are some cases where steric hindrance or other factors may lead to the formation of the less substituted alkene.

The Zaitsev rule is important in organic chemistry as it allows chemists to predict the outcome of dehydrohalogenation reactions and design synthetic routes for the production of specific alkenes. It is also a fundamental concept in the study of reaction mechanisms and the understanding of the factors that influence chemical reactivity.

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