Activity Number
66
Editable
Overview and Learning Objectives
Central Concepts
Textbook References
Benchmarks and Standards
Macro Micro Link
Activity Credits
Requirements

Formation of Water Shells around Ions (a 1-page highly interactive model)

Interactive model, with minimal support

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This Activity Requires:

  • 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

User can vary charge and temperature. In solution, water molecules form a "shell" around ions. This model illustrates how ions that are solvated by water molecules move.

Students will be able to:

  • explore the role of charge in the behavior of water toward charged and non-charged atoms;
  • observe the formation of water shells around charged ions;
  • change the temperature and observe its effect on the formation of water shells around charged ions;
  • observe how water shells around ions can keep them separated from each other.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

Water is a great solvent, but all substances that water can dissolve must be either polar or ionic (either positively or negatively charged). The polar water molecules attract other charged particles and push out non-charged particles. Water is attracted to itself, other polar molecules, ionic substances, and somewhat to non-polar substances. However, it attracts to itself much better than to the non-polar substances, so the water tends to exclude (and not dissolve) non-polar substances.

Additional Related Concepts

Molecular Biology

  • Polar molecules
  • Polar nature of water

Physics/Chemistry

  • Dissolving
  • Hydrogen bonds
  • Ion
  • Ionic bonds
  • Salt
  • Solubility
  • Solutions
  • Water shells

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Textbook References

  • Biology (Miller and Levine) Prentice Hall 5th Edition - Unit 1: Chapter 4 - The Chemical Basis of Life
  • BSCS Blue (8th Edition) - Chapter 3: Exchanging Materials with the Environment

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Benchmarks and Standards

AAAS

  • COMMON THEMES: Models - Therefore computers can show the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules (Full Text of Standard)

  • THE PHYSICAL SETTING: FORCES OF NATURE - There are two kinds of charges-positive and negative. (Full Text of Standard)

NSES

  • Physical-Science: Matter Structure/Properties - 1 Atoms interact with one another by transferring or sharing electrons (Full Text of Standard)

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Macro Micro Link

One can easily observe how only some substances dissolve easily in other substances. This model helps to show what happens when ions are dissolved in a water solution.

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: Molecular Workbench 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.