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African Journal of Chemical Education

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Hybrid orbitals notation: Some misconceptions in an undergraduate basic chemistry course

Robson Fernandes de Farias

Abstract


This work reports a study performed involving 26 students of an undergraduate basic chemistry course class at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The study was performed in order to evaluate the misconceptions about hybridization that students bring from high school courses and how to overcame such misconceptions. Methane, ammonia and water molecules were employed as examples. The equation was introduced in order to promote a most profound and mature interpretation of the hybridization notation. The sp4 and sp2.3 water hybrid orbitals were used to illustrate the interpretation that can be given to the n value. In the same direction, a graphic “paint analogy” was employed to give a proper interpretation to the n value.






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