What is the number of transition states and intermediates formed in the following reaction?

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My thought:

  1. First the alkene extracts $\ce {H^+}$ from the acid to form a carbocation. This step involves a transition state and the formation of an intermediate which is a secondary carbocation.
  2. Next, we have an alkyl shift to this carbon, resulting in a ring expansion. The carbocation is now tertiary. Again, involving an intermediate and a transition state.
  3. Finally $\ce{H2O}$ attacks on the tertiary carbocation. We again get a transition state and intermediate here.
  4. A proton now leaves, which involves a transition state. The product now forms.

So I think there will be 4 transition states and 3 intermediates, but I am not sure.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think that’s a good brain-and-paper theoretical analysis. A computational chemist would probably use this as a starting point. $\endgroup$ – Jan Nov 12 '17 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Haha I had no idea that it was even slightly correct. I got it all by fluke, I think. $\endgroup$ – samjoe Nov 12 '17 at 16:24

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