Interactive, scaffolded model
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Students use a computer simulation to discover the connection between temperature and kinetic energy [energy of motion]. The computer simulation shows a box divided into two sections by a wall that can be removed. Students can then fill either side of the box with molecules of varying mass. They can also adjust the temperature of either side. Graphs show the average kinetic energy of atoms in each section. Students are asked to experiment with the various options for adjusting the temperature and/or mass in either section. Students can also remove the partition so that atoms from either side can mix.
Students will be able to:
Besides the questions embeddded in the activity, the Teacher Guide suggests:
Have students write several things in their notebooks:
We have two containers into which we introduce a gas. One container has ten times as much gas as the other. Under what circumstances could the container with the smaller amount of gas have a higher temperature than the other container? The same temperature as the other container? A lower temperature than the other container?
Under what circumstances could the container with the smaller amount of gas have higher amount of heat energy than the other container? The same amount of heat energy as the other container? A lower amount of heat energy than the other container?
We say that when a hot object and a cold object are put into contact, heat flows from the hot object to the cold object. Why don't we say the cold flows from the cold object to the hot object?
This activity is one of a larger module: Atoms in Motion
Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the atoms of a substance, while heat is the total kinetic energy of those atoms.
Additional Related Concepts
In this activity students will see the connection between heat, temperature, and the kinetic energy of atoms. As the burner heats the air at the mouth of the balloon, a cascading effect of heating up molecules near the burner causes those molecules to move faster due to their increase in kinetic energy. These fast moving, hot molecules bump into those nearby and so on, until the heat energy (which is just a bunch of moving molecules) raises the temperature throughout the balloon.
Other macro connections:
Created by CC Project: SAM using Molecular Workbench