Simulation Activity: Exploring Intermolecular Forces with Odyssey Mark as Favorite (4 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Physical Properties, Melting Point, Intermolecular Forces, Boiling Point. Last updated July 25, 2023.


In this simulation, students will learn about the different intermolecular forces. They will use the simulation to see how molecules in various species interact with one another.

Grade Level

High school


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

  • Understand the different between the three intermolecular force types.
  • Relate intermolecular forces to other physical properties of substances.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Intermolecular forces
  • Physical properties


Teacher Preparation: 20 minutes

Lesson: 30 minutes (teacher led); one class period (student groups)


  • Computer with Odyssey software installed


There are no specific safety concerns involved with this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • To complete this activity, you must have access to Odyssey software. If you’re using version 5.1, this pairs with Labs 59, 62, and 58. If you’re using version 5.0, this goes with Labs 77, 81, and 76.
  • There is a lesson built into the software for each lab; this lesson is not the same. The software assignment collects students’ responses and this lesson is designed for students to have a pencil-and-paper experience.
  • This activity could be done individually, in small groups, or as an entire class, depending on the resources available to the teacher.
  • 1 & 2. Students should complete these from their prior knowledge.
  • 3. The simulation is needed for this part. Make sure to activate the molecular motion by clicking on the “play” button. For dipole-dipole, you can alter the view so it’s either space filling or ball-and-stick models. For hydrogen bonds, you can either hide or show the IMFs. For LDFs, it’s best to use heptane as the example.
  • 4. You can talk about other examples of substances that exhibit the various IMFs with students  or have them do independent research and share their findings with the class.

For the Student


Prompt Dipole-Dipole Forces Hydrogen Bonds London Dispersion
1. Describe the kind of molecules that would exhibit attraction based on each type of force and give an example of each. Draw a ball-and-stick diagram for each example.
2. Rate the relative strength of each type of force.
Prompt Dipole-Dipole Forces Elements with Hydrogen Bonding Overview of Intermolecular Forces
3. Draw a particle diagram that represents the type of IMF as it is shown in the simulations. Use dotted lines or arrows to represent the forces between molecules.
4. List some properties of substances with this type of force as the major source of cohesion. Include information about their state of matter at room temparature as well as melting and boiling points.