Many students explain thermal expansion in terms of increased size of ‘particles’

Energy and Thermal Physics


Resources to Address This

  • Model of expanding liquids and gases (11-16)

    Ref - Practical physics; Molecules; Physical models for kinetic theory; Model of expanding liquids and gases

    Students use marbles in a tray to model the expansion of liquids and gases.

    View Resource


The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.

For more information, see the University of York BEST website.

  • Lubben, F.; Netshisaulu, T. and Campbell, B. () Students' use of cultural metaphors and their scientific understandings related to heating, Science Education, 83, (6)


    Review sheet

  • Jasien, P. G. () Roles of Terminology, Experience and Energy Concepts in Student Conceptions of Freezing and Boiling. Journal of Chemical Education, 90,


    Review sheet

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