There are three main states of matter – solids, liquids, and gases. Each of these states is also known as a phase. Materials can move from one phase to another when physical forces are present. One example of those forces is temperature. The phase or state of matter can change when the temperature changes. Changes of state are energy dependent; they are the product of how particles are interacting with each other. Temperature and pressure affect the way particles interact to change a state or phase. Increase the temperature (a measure of the average speed of particles in an object) and you increase the speed or disorganization of the particles in the object and get a change of state. Increase the pressure and you increase the organization of the particles in the object of study and you get a change of state. These changes of state are a fundamental property of the material. Generally, as the temperature rises, matter moves to a more active state.
Here’s a fun activity from Carolina Biological Supply in which students can grow their own snowflakes using household materials and dry ice. Check for businesses in your area that supply dry ice. Be sure to follow the suggestions for the safe handling of dry ice.
One could say that snowflakes are simply frozen water — but if you compare a snowflake to an ice cube, you’ll notice a big difference. Why are all snowflakes six-sided? Why are none of them exactly the same? And how do we ski on them? Maruša Bradač sheds light on the secret life of snowflakes.
Lesson by Maruša Bradač, animation by bottomless well films.
With freezing cold temperatures crossing the nation, The Spangler Effect takes a look at the phenomenon of instant freezing water and the dangers of leaving unopened soda bottles out in the cold. Subscribe to The Spangler Effect
January 8, 2015 | by Lisa Winter, photo credit: ThomasVogel
Tired of being trapped inside all day during the winter, but building snowmen or making snow angels is getting to be a little too much of “been there, done that?” Continue reading