The Particle Model Of Matter Worksheet


The Particle Model of Matter
More than 2000 years ago in Greece, a philosopher named
Democritus suggested that matter is made up of tiny particles too
small to be seen. He thought that if you kept cutting a substance into
smaller and smaller pieces, you would eventually come to the
smallest possible particles—the building blocks of matter.
Many years later, scientists came back to Democritus’ idea and
added to it. The theory they developed is called the
particle model
of matter.
There are four main ideas in the particle model:
Are you able to explain the
1. All matter is made up of tiny particles.
particle model of matter in
your own words? If not,
re-read the main ideas and
examine the illustration
that goes with each.
2. The particles of matter are always moving.
3. The particles have spaces between them.
4. Adding heat to matter makes the particles move faster.
Scientists find the particle model useful for two reasons. First,
it provides a reasonable explanation for the behaviour of matter.
Second, it presents a very important idea—the particles of matter
are always moving. Matter that seems perfectly motionless is not
motionless at all. The air you breathe, your books, your desk, and
even your body all consist of particles that are in constant motion.
Thus, the particle model can be used to explain the properties of
solids, liquids, and gases. It can also be used to explain what happens
in changes of state (
on the next page).
Figure 1
The Particle Model of Matter


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