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ZingPath: Phase Changes

Melting and Boiling Points: Different Materials, Different Amounts

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Phase Changes

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Lesson Focus

Melting and Boiling Points: Different Materials, Different Amounts

Physical Science

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You will be introduced to three states of matter. Melting and boiling points of substances will be explored and identified as a physical property.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Describe solids, liquids, and gases as states of matter.
  • Explain that melting and boiling points are dependant on the substance.
  • On a heating curve, identify different states of matter, melting, and boiling.

Everything You'll Have Covered

The three most common phases of matter are solids, liquids, and gases. All three have the same chemical properties, but their physical characteristics change. The process of changing state requires a change in the energy of the system. When going from solids to liquids to gases, energy needs to be put into the system, usually in the form of heat. Changes of state are reversible processes, by again changing the physical properties but not the chemical properties.

Melting and boiling points are specific to a substance. Increasing the amount of mass of the substance does not change the melting or boiling point, it just increases the amount of energy required to do so. This is easily seen on a heating curve, or graph. During the melting process, the system is taking in energy (heat) in order to break the bonds between the solid particles. During this time, the temperature remains constant, and is seen as a horizontal line on the graph. Once all the necessary bonds are broken, the temperature will continue to increase. The same thing happens during the boiling process. Energy will continue to be absorbed by the system while the temperature remains constant. The graph will show a horizontal line during this time as well.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with states of matter.
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary boiling, changes of state, condensation