Activity Number
309
Editable
Overview and Learning Objectives
Classroom Practice
Central Concepts
Benchmarks and Standards
Extensions and Connections
Activity Credits
Requirements

Newton's Laws at the Atomic Level (SAM) (a 2-day, 9-page activity)

Interactive, scaffolded model

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  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Overview and Learning Objectives

Students explore how Newton's three laws apply to the world of atoms and molecules. Observations start with the originally contradictory observation of Brownian motion. Then, each law is addressed at the atomic level. Examples of the laws in real‐world applications are given to help students make sense of how these laws are always at work.

Students will be able to:

• Describe how Newton’s Laws are relevant and in action at the atomic level.

• Observe how Brownian motion seems to contradict Newton’s first law and deduce how interactions of individual atoms can approximate Brownian motion.

• Use models to experimentally derive Newton’s second law (F=ma) and determine why some atoms move faster than others when equal forces are applied.

• Explain how attraction between atoms (either neutral or oppositely charged) relates to Newton’s third law.

• Analyze a real‐world example showing Newton’s third law.

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Classroom Practice

Teacher's Guide:

http://sam.concord.org/publications/teacher-guides/newtons_laws.ver6.pdf

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

Additional Related Concepts

Physics/Chemistry

  • Energy
  • Energy conservation
  • Energy transfer
  • Mass
  • Mass and Movement
  • Velocity

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Benchmarks and Standards

AAAS

  • THE PHYSICAL SETTING: MOTION - Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it (Full Text of Standard)

NSES

  • Physical-Science: Motions and Forces - 1 Objects change their motion only when a net force is applied (Full Text of Standard)

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Extensions and Connections

Fermi Lab's ARISE Project suggests the following enhancement to this SAM unit: http://www.concord.org/~barbara/SAM/ARISE/ARISE_SAM_Newton's_Laws.pdf

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: SAM using Molecular Workbench

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Requirements

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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NSF Logo
These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701, EIA-0219345, DUE-0402553, and 0628181.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation.