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tl;dr– Effects are: steric (or non-steric) if they're related (or not) to physical shape/configuration; electronic (or non-electronic) if they're related (or not) to electronic charge. I would suggest seeing these as distinct concepts; effects can be qualified with respect to sterics or/and electronics, as appropriate (or just called an "effect" ...


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The normal distinction between "steric" and "electronic" is based on whether the effect is transmitted through space or through bonds All the normal physical interactions we experience are arguably electronic. When you touch your desk, you feel force because of interactions between the molecules of the desk and the molecules of your hand ...


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Yes, the term "combinatorial" chemistry is related to mathematical combinatorics. Imagine that we have three positions (numbered 1, 2, 3) on a molecule, and at each position, we can place any one of 5 functional groups (A, B, C, D, E). We can synthesize all possible molecules in parallel by making all possible derivatives at position 1 (5 total), ...


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