I am new to organic chemistry and was asked to rank the following materials according to energetic stability. I think I have understood that the way to do this is to count the amount of α-hydrogens: the more α-hydrogens, the more stable the molecule. However, the definition of an α-hydrogen is "a hydrogen that is attached to an α-carbon", where the α-carbon is the first carbon next to a functional group. In this case, it is not clear to me where the α-carbon is located: the only candidate for a functional group is the CH2/CH3 (depending on the case) at the very end of the chain, but then would the α-carbon be the very first one or the one next to it?
Any further general insight into the ranking of molecules according to energetic stability would also be very much appreciated… Many thanks!