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MCAT Question A Day - 2/12/14 - Answer!

Infrared spectroscopy can generally be used to distinguish between

A.  alcohols and ketones.
B.  enantiomers.
C.  cis-trans isomers.
D.  conformers.

The correct answer is (A). The infrared spectrum of an organic molecule gives the most information about its structure. Each functional group generally has a range of characteristic absorption frequencies: Carbonyl bonds in aldehydes and ketones absorb at about 1700 cm-1, while —OH groups absorb at much higher energies of approximately 3300 cm-1.

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