The purpose of this unit is to help students make the connection that the classification of mixtures is based on the size of particles. This connects to two of the Big Ideas in Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Stevens, Sutherland, and Krajick 2009). The first is Size and Scale or factors relating to size and geometry of materials which help describe matter and predict its behavior. The second is Size-Dependent Properties that can change with scale. In particular, as the size of a material transitions from the bulk to atomic scale, it often exhibits unexpected properties that lead to new functionality.
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