Problem: Consider the Lewis structure for glycine, the simplest amino acid: What are the approximate bond angles about each of the two carbon atoms?

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We’re being asked to approximate the bond angles of the two carbon atoms in glycine. Since we have the Lewis structure for glycine, we determine the electron geometry and bond angle using this:


Electron Regions          Electronic Geometry          Bond Angles

2                                      linear                                    180˚

3                                      trigonal planar                      120˚

4                                      tetrahedral                            109.5˚

5                                      trigonal bipyramidal              90˚, 120˚, and 180˚

6                                      octahedral                            90˚ and 180˚

*Electron groups include lone pairs and atoms around the central atom


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Problem Details

Consider the Lewis structure for glycine, the simplest amino acid: An N with one pair of dots is single bonded left and below to H and right to C.  That C is single bonded above and below to H and right to C.  That C is double bonded above to O (which has two pairs of dots) and right to O (which also has two pairs of dots). That O is single bonded right to H.

What are the approximate bond angles about each of the two carbon atoms?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Munro's class at UNR.