Many students think that atoms do not move in a solid
Students may think that matter is continuous and static or that particles do not move in the solid state. This could be because diagrams representing particles in a solid as tightly packed are understood to imply that there is no scope for any particle movement (such as vibration).
The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.
For more information, see the University of York BEST website.
Resources to address this
A model of vibrating atoms in a solid (11-16)
Ref - Practical Physics; Molecules in motion; From crystals to atoms; A model of vibrating atoms in a solid
The model recommended is large and wobbly. The more rigid types often used in chemistry departments are not suitable.
The model is used as a prop to support a discussion of the way in which the particles in a solid are held together by spring-like forces - demonstrate how vibrating it will shake the individual atoms, but that they can retain their place in the overall pattern.View Resource
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