Particle Theory *suitable for home teaching*

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These downloadable videos and animations are part of the multimedia package Stuff and Substance, developed by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP). They can be used to introduce a particle model to explain why a substance can exist in both the solid and liquid states and why different substances have different melting points.

The idea of different strengths of ‘holding power’ between particles is crucial to explaining why different substances have different melting points. It is also important to appreciate that the contrasting characters of the solid and liquid states is explained by the change in movement, alone. Mistakenly, many students attribute the difference between the two states to a change in spacing. Other misconceptions are to think the particles are embedded in the continuous substance or that the particles have macroscopic character. These animations are designed to teach the necessary ideas and discourage misconceptions. They show zooming in from a lump down to the particle level, vibration in the solid state at different temperatures and the close-spaced movement of the liquid state. Different substances are identified by different particle shapes.

These video and animation files form part of the resources in the section Particle Theory in the Stuff and Substance multimedia package, which provides a series of interactive pages that can be used by teachers or students in the classroom.

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