The physical properties of a solid are closely related to the types and relative strengths of the chemical bonds holding the solid together. In the new Melting Points Gizmo, students can explore these properties by collecting melting and boiling point data for a variety of substances. This is done using a realistic capillary tube apparatus similar to what students might use in the laboratory. Just as in the laboratory, all data is collected in at least two rounds: an approximate value that is found by increasing the temperature quickly, and then an accurate reading found by slowly heating the sample close to the transition temperature. For each sample, students can compare observations at the macroscopic level to a microscopic view that illustrates the motions of individual atoms or molecules.
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