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6.1 Particle theory

The kinetic particle theory explains the properties of the different states of matter. The particles in solids,
liquids and gases have different amounts of energy. They are arranged differently and move in different ways.

The table below summarises the arrangement and movement of the particles in solids, liquids and gases, and
shows simple diagrams for the arrangement of the particles.

The table shows some of the properties of solids and why they are like this.

Property Why

Solids have a fixed shape and cannot

The particles cannot move from place to place

Solids cannot be compressed or The particles are close together and have no space to move
squashed into
Property Why

Liquids flow and take the shape of their

The particles can move around each other

The particles are close together and have no space to

Liquids cannot be compressed or squashed
move into

Property Why

Gases flow and completely fill their container The particles can move quickly in all directions

Gases can be compressed or squashed The particles are far apart and have space to move into


States changes
Heat must be supplied to a substance for it to melt, evaporateor boil. For example, you need
to heat ice to melt it, and you need to heat water to make steam.
Heat must be removed from a substance to condense or freeze it. In other words, the substance
must be cooled down.
Under certain conditions, some solids turn straight into a gas when heated. This process is
called sublimation. A good example is solid carbon dioxide, also called ‘dry ice’. At
atmospheric pressure, it turns straight into gaseous carbon dioxide. Liquid carbon dioxide can
only exist under high pressure, such as in fire extinguishers. Iodine also sublimes - it turns
directly from shiny purple-black crystals to a purple vapour when warmed up.
6.2 Diffusion
Diffusion in gases
When chemicals, like the smell of perfume or burning toast, are let loose in a room, the particles mix
with the air particles. The particles of smelly gas are free to move quickly in all directions. They
eventually spread throughout the whole room. This is called diffusion.
Diffusion in gases is quick because the particles in a gas move quickly. It happens even faster in hot
Diffusion in liquids
Diffusion can also happen in liquids. This is because the particles in liquids can move around each
other, which means that eventually they are evenly mixed.
For example, if you drop a little bit of paint into a jar of water the colour will spread slowly through
the water by diffusion.
Diffusion in liquids is slower than in gases because the particles in a liquid move more slowly.

Diffusion in solids
Diffusion does not happen at all in solids because the particles in a solid can only vibrate on the spot,
rather than being able to move from place to place.

6.3 Investigating diffusion

Factors affecting the rate of diffusion

The higher the temperature of the liquid, the faster it evaporates, because more particles
have sufficient kinetic energy to overcome the intermolecular forces of the bulk liquid and
can escape from the liquid surface.

Surface area
The larger the surface area of given volume of liquid, the faster it evaporates, because there
is a greater probability of particles escaping.

Air flow
The greater the airflow over a liquid the faster it evaporates because its stops a build–up of
vapour particles which may hit the surface and condense! The airflow lowers the
concentration of evaporated particles by sweeping them away and so more readily replaced
by freshly evaporated particles.
Example : Drying washing are a warm sunny day, a good breeze, and spreading the clothes
out as much as possible to increase their surface area.
6.4 Brownian motion
At any given instant of time, the hits will not be even, so the smoke particle get a greater
bashing in a random direction.

Particles in both liquids and gases (collectively called fluids) move randomly. This is called
Brownian motion. They do this because they are bombarded by the other moving particles in
the fluid. Larger particles can be moved by light, fast-moving molecules.

Brownian motion is named after the botanist Robert Brown, who first observed this in 1827.
He used a microscope to look at pollen grains moving randomly in water. At this point, he
could not explain why this occurred.

6.5 Gas pressure

If you ride your bike over a bump in the road, you will be pleased that gases exert pressure on
the walls of their container. A pumped-up tyre cushions the rider against bumps, but a flat tyre
does not. The pressure of the air inside a flat tyre is just too low to do this.

Bumping particles
The particles in a gas move quickly in all directions, but they don't get far before they bump
into each other or the walls of their container. When gas particles hit the walls of their container
they cause pressure. The more particles that hit the walls, the higher the pressure.
This is why the pressure in a tyre or balloon goes up when more air is pumped in.
Gas particles hit the walls of their container and cause pressure

Heating increases pressure

If a gas is heated up, its particles move around more quickly. They hit the walls of their
container harder and more often. This increases the pressure. Sometimes the pressure gets so
great that the container bursts.
This is why balloons and tyyres burst if you blow them up too much. It's also why deodorant
spray cans carry warning signs to tell you not to leave them in the sunshine. If they get too hot
they explode.

The three states particles can come in are:

This is how particles

This is how particles This is how particles
are arranged in a
are arranged in a are arranged in a
___________________ ___________________

All particles v _ _ _ _ _ _. If we give particles _ _ _ _ g _ they

vibrate more and start to move away from each other. If we give
the particles enough energy the substance can change from one
_ _ _ _ _ to another.

bonds energy state gas

solid vibrate

Changing State
1. When ice turns into water we say that it _ _ _ _ _
2. When water turns into gas we say that it has _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
3. When gases cool down to form water on windows and
windscreens we call this _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
4. To make ice pops we _ _ _ _ _ _them.

freeze evaporated condensation melts

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