Chemistry KS3 & KS4/GCSE: The atomic structure of metal

Metals have advantages over many other substances for they are hard but can be reshaped.

Their crystalline structure allows them to be 'worked' to make them stronger.

Mark Miodownik describes the advantages that metal had over earlier substances used by humans such as rock and bone, and uses a computer animation to outline the lattice arrangement of atoms that make them both malleable and strong.

This clip is from Materials: How They Work.

Teacher Notes

The clip could be uses as a general introduction to the history of metals and their use by man.

Following the clip, students could extract copper from copper oxide using carbon.

Compare the extraction of copper shown in the clip with the extraction and refining of metals through electrolysis.

Curriculum Notes

These clips will be relevant for teaching Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland.

The topics discussed will support OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC GCSE in GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.

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How was metal discovered?
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How the Romans invented concrete
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What is a superalloy?
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Superconductors and the 'Meissner effect'
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What is superconductivity?
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The Invention of Carbon Fibre
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The plastic revolution
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Goodyear's groundbreaking invention of vulcanised rubber
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The structure, properties and uses of Bakelite
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What is reinforced concrete?
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Why is concrete so brittle?
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