Chapter 1. Imagining Atoms

1.1 Imagining Atoms

Hydrogen, H2 (g), can be dangerous because it can react explosively with oxygen, O2 (g) to form water, H2O (g).

2H2 (g) + O2 2H2O (g)

Examine the simulation to view this reaction on a molecular scale.

Kinetic Simulation

Students observer an animation: The animation shows motion of molecules in a reaction in which H2 and O2 combine to form H2O (vibration, rotation, and translation.). A spark breaks one H-H bond, then the reaction occurs forming H2O. The H2O molecules move very rapidly.

[See Molecular Workbench at as an example. Open molecular workbench software (click on "2. Launch MW"), download it, double click on "Library of Models." Under "Chemistry," find "How Chemical Reactions Happen." Navigate to the simulation on page 7 of the tutorial called "Explosion." Select "spark" and run the simulation on this page.]

Drawings and/or simulations with questions to support student thinking about atomic models

To be completed by students before class

1.2 Imagining Atoms


Question 1.1


Question 1.2


Question 1.3


Question 1.4


Question 1.5


Question 1.6

  • Students should be able to input their answers to these questions so teacher can review before class the next day.