I was just doing some practice midterms and I came across this question. The answers were posted, but there are no explanations for anything. I wasn't able to find anything about this online, either.
Here are pictures of the question.
Here's the first part:
Here's the second part:
Part e) is what is throwing me off. I was flitting back and forth between O and N, and O, N, and C, but in the end got it wrong. It says to base the answer off of part d), but there are two filled orbitals! How do I know which pair of electrons occupies which orbital?
Does the sp3 lone pair of the nitrogen occupy the lowest occupied MO or the highest occupied MO? Because it appears from the correct answer that it occupies the higher one - but why is that? The other delocalized pair of electrons is the pi electrons in the C=O double bond, and I get that maybe they have different energies, but I can't think of any reason one pair should occupy one particular orbital over the other.
Furthermore, according to the movement of electron pairs in the resonance structures of f) (which were all correct according to the answer key), the third structure suggests the lone N pair is shared between the carbon and the nitrogen, not the oxygen and the nitrogen. What gives?
Also, as a side question - the reason why the solvent is polar aprotic, despite having the capacity to shed a hydrogen from the carbon to form an induction-stabilized carbanion, is because protic solvents have the labile hydrogen attached exclusively to an oxygen or a nitrogen, correct?