4.5 The Collisions Cube Simulator

Chemical Concept Demonstrated:  Hard-sphere approximation to kinetic molecular theory

Concept How the Simulator Demonstrates the Concept
The States of Matter

The simulator can model the differences between the kinetic energies of gases, liquids, and solids.  Simply adjust the speed at which the spheres are blown about (high speed is gas, low speed is liquid, off is solid).


Add a divider and pile all of the spheres to one side.   Note the rate of collosions between the balls and the walls of the container. Removing the divider increases the volume of the container. Note the change in the rate of collisions.


Divider now has a 5" hole in the middle.  One side is filled with blue balls, the other side with red balls. Note the difference in the number of balls on opposite sides of the divider when running the two blowers at the same power settings, and at different power settings. 


Once equilibrium has been reached, how long will it take for all of the red balls to end up on one side again?
Activation Energy

All the balls are now on one side of the divider with the hole in it. The blower is set on low power and balls are not able to reach the hole. How would the activation energy be increased in order for the balls to go through the hole?
Orientation Between Colliding Particles

The balls now have velco strips attached to their outsides. Watch how they interact and begin to form dimers, trimers, tetramers, and even polymer chains as they collide in the chamber.
Evaportation/Diffusion of Gases

While the balls are rapidly moving in the chamber, the lid is removed.  Watch out for flying "gas!"