zattyzatzat
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So I just started learning organic chemistry and I have few questions:

In free radical substitution why is uv light/sun light necessary in order to break the covalent bonds and initiate the reaction? If it is to supply activation energy shouldn't a Bunsen burner be sufficient?

And I want to confirm on this but chemical reaction of alkenes involving addition of water, HX, X2, and H2O are all examples of electrophilic addition and do not produce free radicals?

Thanks!
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black1blade
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Since photons of a particular frequency light has a specific quantised energy, it will break certain bonds and not others. Just heating the mixture may cause the structure to break down completely in areas you don't want. Heating things tend to make reactions occur where as in free radical substitution mechanisms, you just want to homolytically break a bond to produce free radicals to initiative the free radical substitution reactions.
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zattyzatzat
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ah i see thanks for clearing that up
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black1blade
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And yeah electrophillic additions and nucleophillic substitutions don't involve free radicals.
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