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published by the Concord Consortium
In this interactive activity, students view six models to investigate what a gas, liquid, and solid look like at the atomic level. Choose to view a gas or liquid made of atoms only, a gas made of diatomic molecules, a liquid made of triatomic molecules, or two types of solids. In each simulation, users may highlight an atom and view its trajectory to see how the motion differs in each of the three primary phases. Don't miss the extension activity: a side-by-side comparison of the atomic structure of a hot liquid and a cold liquid. If you click "Withdraw the Barrier", the two liquids mix. Which state of matter has stronger attractions between atoms?

This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.

Please note that this resource requires Java.
Editor's Note: This resource is appropriate for introductory physical science and for conceptual physics courses. It can be adapted for middle school, especially if use is preceded by the Related Resource "Melting Ice". Teacher-users who complete the free registration may take snapshots to capture data, store work, and access free Teacher's Guides with student problem sets and answer keys.  
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
= Atomic Models
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- High School
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
= Problem/Problem Set
- Audio/Visual
= Illustration
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Parent/Guardian
Educator
General Public
Formats:
application/java
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Access to web site is free. Users may register for additional free access to data capture and to store student work products.
Restriction:
© 2006 The Concord Consortium
Keywords:
atom simulations, atomic simulations, atomic structure, atomic/molecular, collection, molecular simulations, molecular structure, molecule simulations
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created May 10, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
June 14, 2013 by Lyle Barbato

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M1a. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
  • 6-8: 4D/M1cd. Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
  • 6-8: 4D/M3ab. Atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion. Increased temperature means greater average energy of motion, so most substances expand when heated.
  • 6-8: 4D/M3cd. In solids, the atoms or molecules are closely locked in position and can only vibrate. In liquids, they have higher energy, are more loosely connected, and can slide past one another; some molecules may get enough energy to escape into a gas. In gases, the atoms or molecules have still more energy and are free of one another except during occasional collisions.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
  • 9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model
Unit Title: Matter and Interactions

Students will interact with six models to investigate what a gas, liquid, and solid look like at the atomic level. View a gas or liquid made of atoms only, a gas composed of diatomic molecules, a liquid made of triatomic molecules, or two types of solids.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2006), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter).
AJP/PRST-PER
Concord Consortium: States of Matter (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2006), <http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter>.
APA Format
Concord Consortium: States of Matter. (2006). Retrieved July 22, 2014, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter
Chicago Format
The Concord Consortium. Concord Consortium: States of Matter. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2006. http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter (accessed 22 July 2014).
MLA Format
Concord Consortium: States of Matter. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2006. 22 July 2014 <http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Concord Consortium: States of Matter}, Publisher = {The Concord Consortium}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {22 July 2014}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%T Concord Consortium: States of Matter
%D 2006
%I The Concord Consortium
%C Concord
%U http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D 2006
%T Concord Consortium: States of Matter
%I The Concord Consortium
%V 2014
%N 22 July 2014
%9 application/java
%U http://concord.org/stem-resources/states-matter


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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Concord Consortium: States of Matter:

Is Associated With Concord Consortium: Melting Ice

This is a related hands-on lab by the same authors, appropriate for grades 7-10, which complements the States of Matter computer models. Both resources were developed by Concord Consortium partners.

relation by Caroline Hall

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