- The Particulate Nature of Matter is vital to understanding chemistry. Chemists explain phemonena in terms of particle behavior. Several chemical education research studies have helped expand the theory of how students learn about particle behavior. Early studies established the lack of student understanding of particle action, while later studies examined treatments or interventions to help students think in terms of particles. These later studies led to a number of implications for the chemistry classroom and our understanding of how students build mental models to visualize particle behavior in chemical and physical phemonena. 2008 American Chemical Society.