Orbitals in general chemistry, Part III: Consequences for Teaching
Lamoureux Lamontagne, Guy
Ogilvie, John F.
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In Part III of this series, we undertake a critique of the nature of application of orbitals to describe or to explain the structure and the binding within molecules and materials. Teaching orbitals in introductory chemistry presents five dilemmas that cannot be easily resolved. We thus conclude, based on mathematical realties, that orbitals are not essential until advanced courses. Even in advanced courses, we question the traditional choice of presenting an inadequate set of orbitals. When one recognizes, in a context of general chemistry, the irrelevance of orbitals as algebraic formulae to the observable properties and reactions of chemical substances, one can readily proceed to teach appropriate content effectively without invoking orbitals or analogous entities, based on our actual experience in teaching general chemistry over the years.
External link to the item10.21577/0100-4042.20170660
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