Session S30b (Tuesday, 2pm, Osmond 119)

P483: Visual demonstration of physical states of matter

Edward Senkbeil (Salisbury University, USA)

This demonstration provides simple, yet excellent visual examples of the three most common physical states of matter on Earth.  A ping pong ball is used as a model of a water molecule.  It is emphasized that the water molecule has the same composition in all three physical states (solid, liquid, and gas), meaning the model ping pong ball will remain the same.  Models of the solid, liquid, and gas states (using ping pong balls) are presented and placed in three identical large plastic containers.  The properties of each state are clearly visualized and discussed while displaying the models.  The demonstration is commonly presented in an “inquiry based” mode where the students are asked several questions to involve them in describing the properties of the states of matter.  Musical background, “States of Matter” may also be incorporated with the demonstration.  The demonstration has proven to be effective in describing the properties of the three physical states of matter.


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