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Suggested Time: 60 minutes. Science TEKS: 3.11, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5. Math TEKS: 5.11, 5.14, 5.15.

Objective

The atmosphere, air pollution, and meteorology may be fairly new topics for the students, so the first day’s discussions and brief demonstrations provide an opportunity to gauge their incoming knowledge. This will help teachers identify any common misconceptions to address by the end of the curriculum.

A demonstration with ice water and associated discussion will help students review three states of matter—solid, liquid, and gas—and examples of how the transfer of heat energy can cause transitions between these states. Students should then begin to think of the atmosphere around them as a mixture of gases. How do we know that air actually exists—that what surrounds us is not just empty space? Inflating a balloon and discussing how they perceive the air with their senses will help students explore this question. Teachers will also introduce the various measuring tools to the class, explain how they work, and organize students into teams for the measurements.

Students should leave with a sense of wonder about the atmosphere around them and motivated to learn more about its importance. Interesting facts in the “Background Information” section can help the teacher achieve this goal.

Background information

Matter is anything that takes up space, and is what makes up everything that we see. Solids, liquids and gases are three states of matter. A solid has both a fixed volume and fixed shape. A liquid takes the shape of whatever container that it is in, but has a fixed volume. Gases , however, do not have a fixed volume—they spread out to take up space, like in a balloon.

Students should recognize examples of transitions between states of matter and the role of heat energy in causing them. Adding heat energy can convert a solid to a liquid, or a liquid to a gas. Removing heat energy can turn a gas to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid. The condensation in the ice water demonstration provides a visual example, as the cold glass condenses water vapor (gas) from the air to form liquid water on the outside of the glass.

Air is a fascinating gas. Every breath we take (~1 liter) has 10 22 molecules of air ! That is about as many stars as exist in the universe. Interestingly, if you could make a box with sides the width of a human hair, it could still have trillions of air molecules inside. However, these air molecules are so small that air appears “invisible” to the naked eye. Air molecules do scatter light, especially at blue wavelengths, which gives the sky its color. Particles suspended in the air can both scatter and absorb light, creating a hazy appearance when the air is polluted (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Houston on a hazy day (L) and on a clear day (R)

Credit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=423

The air around the Earth is called the atmosphere . Viewed from space (Figure 2), we see that the atmosphere is very thin compared to the Earth overall. However, the atmosphere is vitally important to life on Earth. It contains the air that animals breathe and that plants use for photosynthesis; absorbs UV radiation; regulates the planet’s temperature; blocks meteors from crashing onto our surface; and is where weather occurs.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Rice air curriculum. OpenStax CNX. May 09, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11200/1.1
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