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Part 5 Chemistry Summary:

Sn1 Reactions: Step 2-Nucleophilic Attack

Sn1 reactions involve the departure of a leaving group as the first step; the departure of a leaving group forms a carbocation, or a carbon with a positive charge. Carbocations can be stabilized through hyperconjugation, where charge is distributed over a larger area. Rearrangement between the atoms adjacent to the carbocation can also assist to stabilize the carbocation.

Ultimately, a nucleophile in solution will attack the carbocation, neutralizing its charge. A nucleophilic attack in an Sn1 reaction can occur from either side. After the nucleophile attacks the carbocation, the molecule formed is a neutral molecule and the reaction ends.

In the story, Nicole Underwood is interested in joining the group, but isn't certain how to approach them, showing the need for a specific orientation for a nucleophilic attack. Cathy reaches out towards Nicole Underwood and asks her to join the group, just as the carbocation and nucleophile will form a bond to end an Sn1 reaction. Cathy reaching towards Nicole represents the mutual attraction between two differently charged atoms. When Nicole joins the band, the band is stable and can perform in the contest easily, without the charge disrupting the group. The molecule is then stabilized, and neutral—with no uneven distribution of charge.

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