Gizmo of the Week: Phases of Water

What distinguishes a solid, liquid, or gas? In the Phases of Water Gizmo, students compare what happens to a water sample on a macroscopic scale to corresponding molecular-scale changes. After heating the water to boiling, a magnifying glass can be placed at the boundary between liquid and gaseous water. The resulting molecular view shows that while liquid and gas both have free-flowing particles, the particles in the gas are much farther apart. Heat can also be removed from the sample, and the molecular scale transformation into ice can be investigated. With this Gizmo, students will understand how water exists in three different states and undergoes changes between states.

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