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Activity Number
275
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Overview and Learning Objectives
Central Concepts
Additional Info
Activity Credits
Requirements

Atomic Mass and Melting Point (1-page exploration)

Interactive model, with minimal support

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This Activity Requires:

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Overview and Learning Objectives

This interactive model allows users to adjust the mass of particles and change the temperature, thereby testing for the impact of mass on melting point.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

Additional Related Concepts

Physics/Chemistry

  • Mass
  • Mass and Movement

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Additional Info

Additional Background

The reason that mass has no effect is that at a given temperature all particles (atoms and molecules) have the same average kinetic energy. Melting happens with the average kinetic energy of the particles is equal to the energy required to separate the particles. This "separation energy" or potential energy, is determined by the attractive forces between the particles--van der Waals forces and any other electrostatic forces, depending on the particle. Just changing the particle mass causes no change in these forces so the temperature at which the kinetic energy overcomes the attractive potential energy is unchanged.

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: Molecular Workbench using Molecular Workbench

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Requirements

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Last Update: 12/07/2015 Maintainer: CC Web Team (webmaster@concord.org)
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These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701 and EIA-0219345

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation.