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Physics : Particle model of matter 2


Students build on their understanding of the behaviour of particles, with a focus on the effect of transferring energy to them. Students will investigate the impact of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat on the physical changes that occur to a substance as energy is transferred to it.

The main SMSC/Personal Development content of this topic include: PD20 – Hinge point and exam questions as first-hand assessment of pupils’ work.
PD22 – Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

The main UN Rights of a Child covered are No. 13 – Sharing thoughts freely and No. 28 – Access to Education

Example Key Words


Mass per unit volume. Measured in (typically) kg/m3 or g/cm3


Pressure is the force applied to a particle area. It is calculated by force/area. Measured in Pascals, Pa.

Specific Heat Capacity

The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1kg of a substance by 1 °C. Measured in J/kg°C

Specific Latent Heat

The amount of energy required to change the state of 1kg of a substance. Fusion – from solid to liquid, Vapourisation – from liquid to gas.

Internal Energy

The sum of the kinetic and potential energy stored by the particles of a substance.

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