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What is a homologous series?


Solution

A homologous series is a series of compounds with the same general formula, usually varying by a single parameter - such as the length of a carbon chain. Some examples are given below:
Homologous seriesGeneral formulaRepeating unitFunctional group(s)Straightchain alkanesCnH2n+2(n1)CH2H3CCH3Straightchain perfluoroalkanesCnF2n+2(n1)CF2F3CCF3Straightchain alkylCnH2n+1(n1)CH2H3CCH2Straightchain alkenesCnH2n(n2)CH2H2C=CCH3Cyclic alkanesCnH2n(n1)CH2Singlybonded ringStraightchain 1alkynesCnH2n2(n2)CH2HCCCH3PolyacetylenesC2nH2n+2(n2)CH=CHH3CCH3Straightchain primary alcoholsCnH2n+1OH(n1)CH2H3COHStraightchain primaryCnH2n+1COOH(n0)CH2H3CCOOHmonocarboxylic acidsStraightchain azanesNnHn+2(n1)NHH2NNH2

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