Hungarian university students' misunderstandings in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics

Tamás Turányi, Zoltán Tóth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


The misunderstandings related to thermodynamics (including chemical equilibrium) and chemical kinetics of first and second year Hungarian students of chemistry, environmental science, biology and pharmacy were investigated. We demonstrated that Hungarian university students have similar misunderstandings in physical chemistry to those reported in published research papers. We also found that there are significant differences between the misunderstandings in physical chemistry of the students who have had very different levels of chemistry studies at the university. However, there is no significant difference between the four student groups in misunderstandings brought from secondary education. Behind the students' misunderstandings found in this survey there are some common reasons, like using everyday analogies in solving scientific problems, assuming macroscopic properties at the particulate level, reducing proportionality to direct proportionality, and mixing the concepts of thermodynamics and reaction kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry Education Research and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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