Diterbitkan Oktober 30th, 2006 Mengajar , Pengajaran Kimia , Pendidikan

Kesalahan-kesalahan dalam pemahaman konsep (miskonsepsi) kimia akan memberikan penyesatan lebih jauh jika tidak dilakukan pembenahan. Anehnya miskonsepsi itu sering sekali tidak disadari oleh pengajar kimia. Bahasan mengenai miskonsepsi tentang pelajaran kimia sudah sangat banyak diteliti oleh para guru, mahasiswa, peneliti2 di Indonesia. Namun dari apa yg mereka hasilkan itu sangat sedikit yg dipublikasikan di internet. Entah alasannya apa, mungkin takut dijiplak. Padahal jika hasil2nya dipublikasikan tentu akan sangat berguna bagi praktisi pengajar untuk mata pelajaran yg menjadi fokus penelitiannya. Tapi kalo kita melakukan penjelajahan dengan search engine dengan menggunakan bahasa inggris maka kita bisa jumpai banyak hal terkait miskonsepsi dalam pelajaran kimia ini. Berikut ini ada beberapa hal tentang miskonsepsi kimia. Misconception Atoms Atoms can be seen with a microscope. Atoms cannot be seen with a microscope. The extent of an atom’s small size is often not well understood. For example, there are about one million atoms across the width of human hair, but many students guess a number in the hundreds or thousands. Atoms vibrate because they all possess some thermal energy. They do not possess the characteristics of living things (i.e. needing energy to survive, producing wastes, reproduction, adaptability, etc.). The nuclei of cells and atoms are not synonymous. “Proper” concept (to date, of course!)

Atoms are alive (because they move) Atoms are like cells with a membrane and nucleus Atoms can reproduce after the nuclei divide Atoms have electrons circling them like planets around a star An electron shell is like an eggshell or clamshell, thin and hard The electron shell is there to protect the nucleus, like an eggshell and a yolk The electron cloud is like a rain cloud, with electrons suspended

Electrons do not follow a simple circular pattern around the nucleus. Shells are not physical shells like eggshells. They are not thin or hard. They are regions around the nucleus where electrons can be found.

Electrons are not suspended motionless in the “electron cloud”. Instead, they are constantly moving throughout the

Ions are not considered molecules. not glue. molecules of gases are smallest Molecules of solids are cubes. often the gas is less visible than when in the solid form. molecules of gases are soft Molecules of solids are biggest. Molecules are made of smaller entities (atoms) which reorganized into different molecules. Chemical Bonds Molecules are glued together Bonds store energy. doesn’t mean that the molecules themselves have changed. which contain covalent bonds. The substance heated may appear to expand because heat causes molecules to move faster (and further apart). A better word to use for ionic pairs in ionic compounds may be formula unit. are molecules The chemical bond is a physical Forces of attraction hold molecules together. which is not made of any other kind of matter. water vapour vs. only the forces between them. such as Na+ and Cl-. Electrons are the same and can be transferred from one atom to another. Therefore molecules are divisible. e. ice) Molecules expand when heated Molecules themselves do not expand. molecules of gases are round Vapour molecules weigh less than solid molecules (e. hence. Exothermic reactions can form new molecules in which the products possess less energy than the reactants. Molecule shape. indivisible entities Molecules of solids are hard.in it like droplets of water. Just because the phase as a whole appears different.g.Breaking chemical bonds releases energy.g. Not all bonds release energy when broken or require energy to form. . Changes of state are physical changes. simple. release energy when the bonds form and require energy to be broken. Molecules Molecules are basic.The cloud contains the electrons but is made of something else The electron shell is a matrix of some kind of stuff with electrons embedded in it Atoms “own” their electrons “cloud”. Chemical bonds are not made of a separate form of matter. There are not different kinds of electrons for different atoms. Atoms do not “possess” their specific electrons. size and mass do not change between solid and gas phases.Bond making requires energy Ionic pairs.

only inter-molecular bonds are broken Chemical Bonds –Covalent Electrons know which atom they came from Atoms know who owes them an electron Electron pairs are equally shared in all covalent bonds but the electrons that are shared and forces of attraction. It is these bonds that are broken when the ionic compound is dissolved in water. which are not neutral molecules because they possess a charge and the solution can act as an electrolyte. not chemical. is much greater than that of intermolecular forces (between molecules). even though they are not all considered part of the “formula unit”. as well as Le Chatalier’s Principle. a difference in electronegativity). Electrons are the same and can be transferred from one atom to another. A very common misconception. for example. Consider equilibrium reactions in which forward and backward reactions are both occurring at the same time. one atom attracts the electron pair more than the other atom (i. In water. an Na+ ion that is surrounded by Cl. Physical changes are reversible while chemical changes are not .thing made of matter Chemical Bonds –Ionic Ionic compounds form neutral molecules. Hence.e. crushing a rock. Other changes of state include melting.bonds are not broken in dissolving. which are physical reactions. unlike other physical changes. One characteristic that changes of state do share with chemical changes: energy is either added or removed from the system. condensation.ions is attracted to all of the Cl. an intramolecular force (within the molecule. Ionic compounds are not composed of “molecules”. molecules can be pulled apart more easily than breaking apart the molecules themselves.e. such as Na+Clmolecules. and causes the electron pair to be closer to it than to the other atom. Atoms do not “possess” their specific electrons. resulting in Na+ and Cl.ions. The strength of a covalent bond. There are not different kinds of electrons for different atoms. The strengths of covalent bonds and intermolecular forces are similar Chemical Reactions Freezing and boiling are examples of chemical reactions Freezing and boiling are examples of changes of state. i. ionic compounds dissociate into their ions. Chemical changes are also reversible. For example. and sublimation. In some. but of ions which are attracted to one another. between atoms). Some physical changes are also hard to reverse. in water Bonds within “ionic molecules” are stronger than intermolecular forces Na+Cl. Electrons pairs are not shared equally in all covalent bonds.ions.

Energy is not “used up” or “created” in chemical reactions. they are released or stored in the form of chemical bonds between atoms. showing that the attraction between oil and water is greater than between oil and oil. and hence mass is also conserved. which is originally spherical in shape which minimizes the number of molecules which are not surrounded by its own molecules. however. Once activated. releasing a bright light and forming magnesium oxide. because the water-water attractive forces are still much greater than oil-water attraction. Instead. Reactions can reach equilibrium before the reactants are exhausted.The original substance vanishes “completely and forever” in a chemical reaction Mass is conserved. Miscellaneous Oil doesn’t mix with water Oil molecules are actually attracted to water molecules because oil and water molecules more than to their own molecules. However. Heat is needed at the beginning to initiate. Energy is created in chemical reactions. Therefore. is dropped onto the surface of water. the reaction proceeds without further energy input.) Chemical reactions will continue until all the reactants are exhausted Chemical equilibrium is a static condition The original substance can be produced if the reaction can be reversed under the necessary conditions. Therefore. but not the number or species of atoms Reactions that proceed more rapidly also proceed further (more completely. this means that reactions are still occurring—both forward and backward reactions are occurring at the same rate. it is an exothermic reaction. which causes it to combine with the oxygen in the air. the number and species of atoms do not change. or activate. the oil droplet spreads out instead of staying spherical. It would require an input of energy for the oil molecules to come between water . A reaction can reach equilibrium before it has been “completed”. A candle burning is endothermic. This can be shown repel each other when a drop of oil. Atoms are not created or destroyed in standard chemical reactions. regardless of how fast the reaction proceeds. Equilibrium constants and Le Chatalier’s Principle. Students may believe that no reactions are occurring at equilibrium because the net reaction is zero. and no net change is observed. When it hits the water. since heat is needed to initiate the reaction Energy is used up in chemical reactions. and releases energy in the form of light. Chemical equilibrium is dynamic. the reaction. Oil and water remain in separate phases. Another example is heating a piece of magnesium metal in a Bunsen burner. This shows a discrepancy between the concepts of speed and completeness.

g.molecules. and the once the water has reached the higher temperature. However. Strength (of acids and bases) and concentration mean the same thing . Adding salt to water decreases the amount of time cooking Adding salt to water does increase the boiling point. An interesting fact: some weak acids (e. the change is so small that it is not significant. acetic) actually increase in strength as their concentration decreases. Strength is the percentage of those molecules that dissociate into ions. Concentration is the number of moles of solute that are dissolved in one liter of solvent. it takes longer for the water to reach this higher temperature (with a constant supply of heat from the stove).

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