Reaction mechanisms

A reaction mechanism is a detailed description of how a reaction occurs: How are the electrons moving to create new bonds or break existing ones.

If electrons are the currency of chemistry, and reactions the money transactions, then reaction mechanisms are the accounting system used to keep track of the money flow.

Reaction mechanisms are drawn using curly arrows to denote the movement of the electrons in each step of the reaction.

Here you can see a tutorial on how to draw reaction mechanisms.

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