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The Three States of Matter

Arrangement of
Movement of


Close together
Regular pattern
Vibrate about a
fixed position

Close together
Move around each

Far apart
Move quickly in
any direction

They have a fixed

shape and cannot
flow, therefore the
particles cannot
move from place
to place.
They cannot be
compressed or
squashed as the
particles are close
together and have
no space to move

They flow and

take the shape of
their container
they are in. The
particles can
move around each
They cannot be
compressed or
squashed as the
particles are close
together and have
no space to move

They flow and

completely fill
their container
and the particles
can move quickly
in all directions.
They can be
compressed or
squashed as the
particles are far
apart and have
space to move

Conduction occurs in solids because the particles are tightly packed together,
when heated the particles gain energy and vibrate more, as they vibrate, they
collide with their neighbouring particles, passing on the vibrations.
Metals are good conductors of heat because they have free electrons which
transfer the heat energy quicker by moving and colliding.
Usually conduction is faster in denser solids, because the particles are closer
together and so will collide more often and pass energy between them. Materials
that have larger spaces between their particles conduct heat energy much more
slowly these materials are called insulators. Woven materials e.g. wool and
cotton contain lots of trapped air, so are excellent insulators.
A good saucepan is made from materials that are conductors and insulators. The
base and sides are made of metal, so that heat is easily conducted from the
flame to the food. The handle is made from an insulator, so that it does not
become too hot to hold.

Convection occurs in liquids and gases only, when heated the particles gain
energy and expand, becoming less dense. Because they are less dense, they rise
upward. Cooler air then rushes in to replace the air that rose. As warm air rises
and cool air falls, a giant circular pattern is created which is called a convection
current. Eventually the warmer air cools and begins to fall again.
When the air inside a hot air balloon is warmed by its burners, it expands. As a
result, it becomes less dense and rises, carrying the extra energy with it. If the
burners are turned off, the air cools and contracts. It is now denser and so begins
to fall. This movement of air is called a convection current and can transfer
energy from place to place.

All objects emit (give out) and absorb (take in) thermal radiation. Thermal
radiation is the transfer of heat by electromagnetic waves (infrared). The hotter
the object is, the more energy it radiates every second.
The transfer of heat by conduction and convection requires particles. However
the transfer of radiation does not. There are no particles between the Sun and
Earth so heat cannot be transferred by conduction or convection. Heat travels
from the Sun to the Earth as waves (radiation).
Objects with dark, rough, black, matt surfaces are the best aborbers and emitters
of radiation. Objects with light-coloured, shiny, silver, white, smooth surfaces
reflect most of the radiation, and are therefore poor emitters. After a race
athelites are wrapped in shiny space blankets so they emit less radiation and
lose body heat slowly.

Insulating The Home

Cavity wall insulation foam pumped into the gap between the bricks reduces
convection and radiation across the gap. Pockets of air in the foam reduce heat
transfer by conduction.
Loft insulation a thick layer of fibreglass wool laid out across the whole loft
floor reduces conduction and radiation.
Double glazing two layers of glass with a vacuum in between them, reduces
heat loss by conduction and convection.
Draught-proofing strips of foam and plastic around doors and windows
reduce heat loss due to convection.
Hot water tank jacket lagging such as fibreglass wool reduces conduction
and radiation.
Metal plates behind radiators shiny metal reflects the heat from the
radiators back into the room so it doesnt escape through the walls.

U-values show how fast heat can transfer through a material. Heat transfers
faster through materials with higher u-values than through materials with low uvalues, so the better the insulator the lower the u-value.

Payback Time
Payback time links the cost of installing the insulation and the annual savings.
Payback time = initial cost annual saving

Specific Heat Capacity

It takes more energy to increase the temperature of some materials then others.
Materials which need to gain a lot of energy to warm up also release loads of
energy when they cool down again. The measurement of how much energy a
substance can store is called its specific heat capacity. Specific heat capacity is
the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of a substance by
1oC. Water has a specific heat capacity of 4200 J/kg oC. The greater the mass of
an object, the more slowly its temperature will increase when heated.

The equation is: E = m x c x

Which means: energy transferred (J) = mass (kg) x specific heat capacity (J/kg oC) x
temperature change (oC)

Condensation is when gas turns to liquid.
When a gas cools, the particles in the gas slow down and lose kinetic energy. The
attractive forces between the particles pull them closer together. If the
temperature gets cold enough and the gas particles get close enough together
that condensation can take place, the gas becomes a liquid. Water vapour in the
air condenses when it comes in contact with cold surfaces, e.g. drinks glasses.
The steam you see rising from a boiling kettle is actually invisible water vapour
condensing to form tiny water droplets as it spreads into cooler air.

Evaporation is when a liquid turns into a gas.
Evaporation is when particles escape from a liquid and this can
happen at temperatures that are lower than the liquids boiling point.
Particles near the surface of a liquid can escape if; the particles are travelling
fast enough in the right direction, to overcome the attractive forces of the other
particles in the liquid.
When the fastest particles evaporate from the liquid, the average speed and
kinetic energy of the remaining particles decreases. The decrease in the energy
means the temperature of the liquid falls, the liquid cools.
The rate of evaporation is faster when;

The temperature of the liquid is higher; the particles will have more energy to
The density of the liquid is lower; the forces between the particles will be
weaker, so more particles will be able to escape the liquid.
The surface area of the liquid is higher; more particles will be near enough to
the surface to escape the liquid.

When you do a lot of exercise or you get hot, you sweat. As the water from the
sweat on your skin evaporates, it cools you down.