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Using the idea of correlation to understand liquid behaviour

By Anna DE AMBROSIS VIGNA, Paolo Mascheretti and Patrizia Tedesco


The use of probabilistic concepts is suggested to explore, with high school pupils, main differences in the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases. The idea of correlation is introduced with reference to macroscopic systems and then applied to describe the link between particles in solid liquid and gases: the analysis of the graphs of the radial distribution function allows pupils to construct a representation of how the three states of matter are differentiated by the nature of their order and to explain phenomenological observations. Results of a first trial of the proposal with pupils attending the last year of high school are presented

Topics: Liquids, Models, Simple Experiments
Publisher: IOP Publishing Limited:Dirac House, Temple Back, Bristol BS1 6BE United Kingdom:011 44 117 9297481, EMAIL:, INTERNET:, Fax: 011 44 117 9294318
Year: 2006
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