Misconceptions about Atomic Models Amongst the Chemistry Students

Main Article Content

Nacir Tit Ehab O. Malkawi Safwan M. Obeidat Nathir A.F. Al-Rawashdeh Ihab M. Obaidat


Bohr’s model is a semi-classical model which involves both classical and quantum principles. Although more sophisticated Schrödinger model has been presented to students, the residual picture in their minds persists to consider Bohr’s model to be the closest to the physical reality. We included few questions about Bohr’s model in tests to assess the students’ understandings of realistic atomic models in general-chemistry courses offered for freshmen in two universities in the Middle-East (namely, Yarmouk University at Irbid, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates University at Al-Ain, UAE, from both a statistical sample of 687 students was collected). The results reveal the existence of huge misconceptions amongst a large portion of the students’ sample (i.e., ≥ 85%). Alternative solutions are discussed and suggested to draw a strategy to better dissimilate the knowledge in order to overcome the existing learning difficulties.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Tit, N., Malkawi, E., Obeidat, S., Al-Rawashdeh, N., & Obaidat, I. (2018). Misconceptions about Atomic Models Amongst the Chemistry Students. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 6(2), 256-263. Retrieved from http://ijier.net/ijier/article/view/958
Author Biographies

Nacir Tit, United Arab Emirates University, UAE

Department of Physics

Ehab O. Malkawi, UAE University, UAE

Department of Physics

Safwan M. Obeidat, Yarmouk University, Jordan

Department of Chemistry

Nathir A.F. Al-Rawashdeh, Jordan University of Science and Technology

Department of Chemistry

Ihab M. Obaidat, UAE University, UAE

Department of Physics


[1] C.N.R. Rao and R. Indumati, “Lives and times of great pioneers in chemistry (Lavoisier to Sanger)” (World Scientific, Singapore, 2015).
[2] N. Bohr, “On the Constitution of atoms and molecules, Part I”, Philosophical Magazine 26 (1913) 1.
[3] A. Lakhtakia and E.E. Salpeter, “Models and Modelers of hydrogen”, Am. J. Phys. 65 (1996) 933.
[4] L. de Broglie, PhD thesis, Paris University, 1924.
[5] E. Schrodinger, “Quantisierung als eigenwertproblem”, Ann. Phys. 386 (1926) 109.
[6] H. Fischler and M. Lichtfed, “Modern physics and students’ conceptions”, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 14 (1992) 181.
[7] D.A. Zollman, N.S. Rebello and K. Hogg, “Quantum mechanics for everyone: Hands-on activities integrated with technology”, Am. J. Phys. 70 (2002) 252.
[8] P.R. Fletcher, PhD thesis, University of Sydney, 2004.
[9] G. Ireson, “The quantum understanding of pre-university physics students”, Phys. Educ. 35 (2000) 15.
[10] S.B. McKagan, K.K. Perkins and C.E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Spec. Topics – Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (2008) 010103 (10 pp).
[11] J. Petri and H. Niedderer, “A learning pathway in high-school level quantum atomic physics”, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 20 (1998) 1075.
[12] National Research Council, “Talking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8”, (National Academy, Washington DC, 1996).
[13] National Research Council, National Science Education Standards, (National Academy, Washington DC, 1996).
[14] T.E. Brown, H.E. LeMay, B.E. Bursten, C. Murphy, P. Woodward, M.E. Stoltzfus, “Chemistry: The Central Science”, 14th Edition, (Prentice Hall, 2017).
[15] A. Beiser, “Concepts of Modern Physics”, 6th Edition, (McGraw-Hill Inc., 2003).
[16] E. F. Redish & R. N. Steinberg, “Teaching physics: Figuring out what works”. Physics Today, 52 (1999) 24–30.
[17] R. L. DeHaan, “The impending revolution in undergraduate science education”. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14 (2005) 253–269.
[18] J. V. Aalst & T. Key, “Pre-professional students' beliefs about learning physics”. Canadian Journal of Physics, 78:1 (2000) 73-78.
[19] N. Hativa & P. Goodyear, “Teacher thinking, beliefs and knowledge in higher education”. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publisher (2002).