Interactive model, with minimal support
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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.
Additional Related Concepts
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.
Last Update: 12/07/2015
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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
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