e-book Materials, Matter and Particles: A Brief History

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A commonly used demonstration is soaking mineral wool separately in concentrated hydrochloric acid and concentrated ammonia solution, and placing these at either end of a large glass tube. However this can be fiddly to set up and requires a fume hood. A good alternative is a microscale diffusion practical, with all the chemistry happening on a plastic sheet under a petri dish. Second, they mix a couple of drops of acid and bleach to synthesise a small volume of chlorine. They can set up, carry out and clear away the apparatus inside 15 minutes, leaving plenty of time for discussions and explanations.

Download the instructions and a template practical sheet below. Misconceptions in this topic are common and can be deep-seated. Use the Best Evidence in Science Teaching project resources to help expose these misconceptions — the Topic 1, Key concept 1 Substance will be useful for this topic. As the kinetic theory is one of the key models underpinning much of chemistry, discuss it regularly, and give the students plenty of opportunities to create artefacts to help them express and consolidate their understanding of the model.

Drawing posters showing the particle arrangement of solids, liquids and gases, surrounded by notations of the properties is useful.

What is a “particle”?

If you have a visualiser available, display high-quality examples to model the expectations for the class. The RSC Assessment for Learning suite of resources contains a useful document discussing many example of substances in different states. You may need to select carefully, as there are examples of compounds and mixtures included, along with particles shown as molecules. However, identifying early on that particles are being modelled as a simple circle is useful in the general discussion of use of models in learning about science.

The structure of matter at the sub-microscopic level, and the forces between particles, underlies the explanation of macroscopic properties. During 11—14, students gain some appreciation of the nature of the particles atoms, ions, molecules. At 14—16, you will expand on how these different particles are formed and how this affects the nature of the forces between them.

Students will need to identify the similarities and differences between ionic, covalent and metallic bonding, and weak intermolecular forces. Another key area is reaction kinetics — collision theory is predicated on an understanding that particles collide, and the models used at this level are very reminiscent of the particle model.

Finally, there is strong overlap between chemistry and physics in this area of study.


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Changes of state are discussed in much greater depth in physics, looking at the internal energy of substances, delineating kinetic and potential energies. He tweets daveb.

The five phases of matter

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No comments. Since there is almost no kinetic energy being transferred from one atom to another, the atoms begin to clump together. There are no longer thousands of separate atoms, just one "super atom. A BEC is used to study quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level. A BEC also has many of the properties of a superfluid , or a fluid that flows without friction. BECs are also used to simulate conditions that might exist in black holes. Adding or removing energy from matter causes a physical change as matter moves from one state to another. For example, adding thermal energy heat to liquid water causes it to become steam or vapor a gas.

Reference Article: Facts about the different physical states of matter.

And removing energy from liquid water causes it to become ice a solid. Physical changes can also be caused by motion and pressure.

Matter Compilation: Crash Course Kids

When heat is applied to a solid, its particles begin to vibrate faster and move farther apart. When the substance reaches a certain combination of temperature and pressure, its melting point , the solid will begin to melt and turn into a liquid. When two states of matter, such as solid and liquid, are at the equilibrium temperature and pressure, additional heat added into the system will not cause the overall temperature of the substance to increase until the entire sample reaches the same physical state. For example, when you put ice into a glass of water and leave it out at room temperature, the ice and water will eventually come to the same temperature.

As the ice melts from heat coming from the water, it will remain at zero degrees Celsius until the entire ice cube melts before continuing to warm. When heat is removed from a liquid, its particles slow down and begin to settle in one location within the substance. When the substance reaches a cool enough temperature at a certain pressure, the freezing point, the liquid becomes a solid.

Most liquids contract as they freeze. Water, however, expands when it freezes into ice, causing the molecules to push farther apart and decrease the density, which is why ice floats on top of water. Adding additional substances, such as salt in water, can alter both the melting and freezing points. For example, adding salt to snow will decrease the temperature that water freezes on roads, making it safer for drivers. There is also a point, known as the triple point , where solids, liquids and gases all exist simultaneously.

It also provides information on particle decay and a brief history section.


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