Activities

Phase Change

Explore what happens at a molecular level as substances change phase.

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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.

On OS X 10.9 or newer, you will need to install a launcher application to run this Java activity. If you have not already installed it, please:

  • Download the launcher installer
  • Open the downloaded .dmg file and drag the CCLauncher application to your Applications folder
  • Return to this page and launch the resource

In this activity, students explore phase change at a molecular level. They trace the path of an atom to view intermolecular interactions and investigate how temperature relates to phase change. Upon activity completion, students will be able to give examples of phase change, explain how the input of energy into a system affects the state of matter, and describe how both latent heat and evaporative cooling play a role in changes of phase.

» Teacher Guide

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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
Chemistry

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
High School

License
LGPL License

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

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/M3cd. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that in solids, the atoms or molecules are closely locked in position and can only vibrate. In liquids, they have higher energy, are more loosely connected, and can slide past one another; some molecules may get enough energy to escape into a gas. In gases, the atoms or molecules have still more energy and are free of one another except during occasional collisions.
  • 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/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.
4E. Energy Transformations
  • 4E/M2*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
  • 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/H9** (NSES). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that many forms of energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion, or potential energy, which depends on the separation between mutually attracting or repelling objects.

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.
11C. Constancy and Change
  • 11C/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that if a system in equilibrium is disturbed, it may return to a very similar state of equilibrium, or it may undergo a radical change until the system achieves a new state of equilibrium with very different conditions, or it may fail to achieve any type of equilibrium.
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/phase-change">The Concord Consortium. Phase Change. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 23.</a>

AIP
Phase Change (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/phase-change).

AJP
Phase Change (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/phase-change).

APA
Phase Change. (2010, September 23). Retrieved 2015, July 28, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/phase-change

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.

On OS X 10.9 or newer, you will need to install a launcher application to run this Java activity. If you have not already installed it, please:

  • Download the launcher installer
  • Open the downloaded .dmg file and drag the CCLauncher application to your Applications folder
  • Return to this page and launch the resource

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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
Rating
0
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A note about Java and security.  [dismiss]

A Note about Java and Security

Our goal is for teachers and students to have a successful experience with our software. Some of our activities require Java software to be enabled on your computer. Due to recent security problems found in Java, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of Java before using our software.

Users of OS X 10.9 and Above

You will need to install a launcher application to run this Java activity. If you have not already installed it, please: