Activities

Intermolecular Attractions

Explore how London dispersion attraction and dipole-dipole interactions explain the different boiling points of materials and apply that reasoning to DNA, antibodies, and gecko feet.

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The Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart is required to run any of the activities. You can download it at: java.com.

Intermolecular attractions are responsible for everything from the temperatures at which substances boil to the power of your immune system in recognizing pathogens and the climbing ability of geckos! Feel the strength of London dispersion and dipole-dipole attractions, explore how intermolecular attractions affect boiling point and solubility, and investigate the special role of hydrogen bonds in DNA. Finally, design your own antibody based on intermolecular attractions.

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Download Size: 5 MB

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
Chemistry

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
High School

License
LGPL License

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

3. The Nature of Technology

3A. Technology and Science
  • 3A/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 4D/M1cd*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
  • 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/M6c*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that carbon and hydrogen are common elements of living matter.
  • 4D/M10** (NSES). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that a substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
  • 4D/H7a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that atoms often join with one another in various combinations in distinct molecules or in repeating three-dimensional crystal patterns.
  • 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/H8. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties. Shapes are particularly important in how large molecules interact with others.
  • 4D/H9b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that some atoms and molecules are highly effective in encouraging the interaction of others.
  • 4D/H10**. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the physical properties of compounds reflect the nature of the interactions among its molecules. These interactions are determined by the structure of the molecule, including the constituent atoms and the distances and angles between them.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G/H2a*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that electric forces acting within and between atoms are vastly stronger than the gravitational forces acting between the atoms. At larger scales, gravitational forces accumulate to produce a large and noticeable effect, whereas electric forces tend to cancel each other out.

5. The Living Environment

5B. Heredity
  • 5B/H3*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the information passed from parents to offspring is coded in DNA molecules, long chains linking just four kinds of smaller molecules, whose precise sequence encodes genetic information.
5C. Cells
  • 5C/H4a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the genetic information encoded in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules.

10. Historical Perspectives

10F. Understanding Fire
  • 10F/H5*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that since Lavoisier and Dalton, the system for describing chemical reactions has been vastly extended to account for the configuration taken by atoms when they bond to one another and to describe the inner workings of atoms that account for why they bond as they do.
10I. Discovering Germs
  • 10I/H1** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that today, the modern technology of high-power imaging and biotechnology make it possible to investigate how microorganisms spread, how they cause disease, how the immune system combats them, and even how they can be manipulated genetically.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M4** (BSL). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
  • 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/H1a*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that a mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.
11D. Scale
  • 11D/M3**. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/intermolecular-attractions">The Concord Consortium. Intermolecular Attractions. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 23.</a>

AIP
Intermolecular Attractions (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/intermolecular-attractions).

AJP
Intermolecular Attractions (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/intermolecular-attractions).

APA
Intermolecular Attractions. (2010, September 23). Retrieved 2014, July 22, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/intermolecular-attractions

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

Requirements

The Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart is required to run any of the activities. You can download it at: java.com.

The download for this activity will require 5 MB of disk space.

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Science of Atoms and MoleculesThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Science of Atoms and Molecules project.

Grade Level
High School
Subject
Chemistry
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
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