Hybrid Atomic Orbitals in Organic Chemistry. Part 2: Critique of Practical Aspects

25 February 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The importance of hybrid atomic orbitals, in both general and organic chemistry, is reviewed. Every contemporary textbook of organic chemistry introduces the sp3, sp2, sp model, but the suitability of these hybrid orbitals for use in the teaching of molecular structure has been increasingly questioned. Based on a critical survey of the literature, we submit seven practical criteria that deprecate the use of hybrid orbitals in a pedagogical context. We suggest how the teaching of organic chemistry without hybrid orbitals will provide students with an enhanced education.


Chemical Education
Undergraduate Organic Chemistry
Hybrid orbitals


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