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Why does magnesium insert itself between a carbon atom and halogen atom? Can anyone give any vague idea about why this occurs?

Also does a Grignard reagent only form when there is carbon atom and halogen atom with single bond between them? For example, can magnesium insert between the carbon and oxygen atoms of a carbonyl?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Jan, Todd Minehardt, Klaus-Dieter Warzecha, bon, paracetamol Feb 5 '17 at 4:59

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    $\begingroup$ Reactions happen because of decrease in chemical potential associated with it. More precisely they happen if activation energy is provided, products are stable thermodynamically or kinetically and there's a viable pathway for it. Are youu asking about pathway or what? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Feb 2 '17 at 21:32
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Yes, this is a very interesting question that till today, not everyone agrees the precise mechanism as to how it works. Here is one with homolytic fission:

enter image description here

For your second query, I don't think it is feasible as the $\ce{C=O}$ carbonyl bond is rather stable.

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    $\begingroup$ The answer presents a mechanistic hypothesis, but the question is asking why the reaction happens. The answer needs to include some rationale why the mechanism makes sense. $\endgroup$ – jerepierre Feb 2 '17 at 19:24

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