Activities

Diffusion

Investigate how the random motion and collisions of particles results in diffusion.

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Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

Diffusion is the net movement of particles from areas of high concentration (number of particles per unit area) to low concentration. In this activity, students use a molecular dynamics model to view the behavior of diffusion in gases and liquids.

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WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

Subject
Biology

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
Middle School

License
LGPL License

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

2. The Nature of Mathematics

2A. Patterns and Relationships
  • 2A/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that mathematics is the study of quantities and shapes, the patterns and relationships between quantities or shapes, and operations on either quantities or shapes. Some of these relationships involve natural phenomena, while others deal with abstractions not tied to the physical world.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 4D/M3ab. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion. Increased temperature means greater average energy of motion, so most substances expand when heated.
  • 4D/M8** (SFAA). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that most substances can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas depending on temperature.
  • 4D/H7b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that an enormous variety of biological, chemical, and physical phenomena can be explained by changes in the arrangement and motion of atoms and molecules.
  • 4D/H9a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the rate of reactions among atoms and molecules depends on how often they encounter one another, which is affected by the concentration, pressure, and temperature of the reacting materials.
4E. Energy Transformations
  • 4E/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that thermal energy is transferred through a material by the collisions of atoms within the material. Over time, the thermal energy tends to spread out through a material and from one material to another if they are in contact. Thermal energy can also be transferred by means of currents in air, water, or other fluids. In addition, some thermal energy in all materials is transformed into light energy and radiated into the environment by electromagnetic waves; that light energy can be transformed back into thermal energy when the electromagnetic waves strike another material. As a result, a material tends to cool down unless some other form of energy is converted to thermal energy in the material.
  • 4E/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that in any system of atoms or molecules, the statistical odds are that the atoms or molecules will end up with less order than they originally had and that the thermal energy will be spread out more evenly. The amount of order in a system may stay the same or increase, but only if the surrounding environment becomes even less ordered. The total amount of order in the universe always tends to decrease.
  • 4E/H7** (BSL). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that thermal energy in a system is associated with the disordered motions of its atoms or molecules. Gravitational energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting masses. Electrical potential energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting or repelling charges.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that 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.
  • 11B/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens.
  • 11B/M5**. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that the usefulness of a model depends on how closely its behavior matches key aspects of what is being modeled. The only way to determine the usefulness of a model is to compare its behavior to the behavior of the real-world object, event, or process being modeled.
  • 11B/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore, computers can reveal the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and simulated testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.
11C. Constancy and Change
  • 11C/H7b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the precise future of a system is not completely determined by its present state and circumstances but also depends on the fundamentally uncertain outcomes of events on the atomic scale.
  • 11C/H12** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that even though a system may appear to be unchanging when viewed macroscopically, there is continual activity of the molecules in the system.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/diffusion">The Concord Consortium. Diffusion. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2011, May 6.</a>

AIP
Diffusion (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2011, May 6), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/diffusion).

AJP
Diffusion (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2011, May 6), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/diffusion).

APA
Diffusion. (2011, May 6). Retrieved 2014, October 30, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/diffusion

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

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Innovative Technology in Science InquiryThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry project.

Grade Level
Middle School
Subject
Biology
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
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