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Collisional Heating

A. Martin, B. Martin, Mahaffy, K. Genuis, D. Eymundson, T Keeler, King's Centre for Visualization in Science

This visualization shows the molecular interaction of infrared radiation with various gases in the atmosphere. Focus is on the interaction with C02 molecules and resultant warming of the troposphere.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

About the Science

  • Great animated visualization of collisional heating in the atmosphere on the molecular level.
  • Options to see the individual effects of various molecules in the atmosphere (CO2, H2O, N2O, O2, N).
  • Options to display more or less information as needed including black body radiation, the IR spectrum, other gases in and relative temperature of the atmosphere.
  • Educator might need to provide students with explanation and definitions of concepts involved in the processes that are being animated.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Lack of guided questions makes orienting to the animation difficult at first, but there is ample opportunity to create guided questions or to allow for authentic exploration by the learner.
  • Requires basic outside research of concepts if the instructor is unfamiliar with the material.
  • Resource likely to be more useful with the context provided by the lesson for which it was designed http://www.explainingclimatechange.ca/Climate%20Change/Lessons/Lesson%203/lesson3.html, which is in the CLEAN collection

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • As a stand-alone, may lack sufficient guidance for intended users.
  • Very simple and clean design for online use. Need internet access.
  • Shockwave Flash file; requires browser plug-in

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-PS1.A3:The structure and interactions of matter at the bulk scale are determined by electrical forces within and between atoms.

HS-PS1.A4:A stable molecule has less energy than the same set of atoms separated; one must provide at least this energy in order to take the molecule apart.

HS-PS1.B1:Chemical processes, their rates, and whether or not energy is stored or released can be understood in terms of the collisions of molecules and the rearrangements of atoms into new molecules, with consequent changes in the sum of all bond energies in the set of molecules that are matched by changes in kinetic energy.

HS-PS3.D1:Although energy cannot be destroyed, it can be converted to less useful forms—for example, to thermal energy in the surrounding environment.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Energy and Matter

HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

HS-C5.4: Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Developing and Using Models

HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system

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