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In this activity, students can run molecular simulations of a substance in gas and liquid phases side by side long enough for a recorder to gather data. Advanced students can also open a graph of the pair correlation function (PCF) for each state of matter and observe how the attractive forces affecting a molecule in liquid phase result in it attracting other molecules in close proximity to itself, and at specific distances. They can observe that the gas phase molecule, on the other hand, has only a slight ability to attract other molecules close to it.
Students will be able to:
In a gas phase, there is space between atoms, and these atoms move randomly and chaotically in space. Atoms in liquids are generally fairly close to one another. Viewed from the perspective of an atom, its neighboring atoms are able to move past one another to another position. The space left behind is then occupied by a different atom.
Additional Related Concepts
Last Update: 12/07/2015
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