The atoms of the Matter Model are brightly colored spheres specifically designed to allow students to better understand the structure of matter. The bonds between the atoms are modeled by springs, so that when forces are applied, the atoms can move in response.
The atoms can be configured into many patterns depending on the concepts to be investigated. Each atom can be opened and closed using two snaps. The inside of each atom has a slot where students can place one of the included nuts. In this way, the mass of the atoms can be changed. In addition, the springs can be easily connected to or removed from the atom using the six quick connects. A hole extends through each atom, allowing several to be placed on the included brass rod for wave and pressure activities.
- Normal Forces: Students can better understand normal forces when heavy objects are placed on the Matter Model and they see the deflection of the atoms in response.
- Modeling a Solid: By constructing a matrix of spheres, students can build a model of matter that is dynamic and responds to external forces similarly to real solids.
- Wave Properties: Students can investigate wave properties including reflection, wave speed and standing waves.
- Atmospheric Pressure: By placing the atoms on the included brass rod and holding it vertically, students can better understand why atmospheric pressure and altitude are inversely related.