A discrete particle model of a gas-fluidised bed has been developed and in this the two-dimensional motion of the individual, spherical particles was directly calculated from the forces acting on them, accounting for the interaction between the particles and the interstitial gas phase. Our collision model is based on conservation laws for linear and angular momentum and requires, apart from geometrical factors, two empirical parameters: a restitution coefficient and a friction coefficient. A sequence of collisions is processed using techniques which find their application in hard-sphere simulations which are commonly encountered in the field of molecular dynamics. The hydrodynamic model of the gas phase is based on the volume-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Simulations of bubble and slug formation in a small two-dimensional bed (height 0.50 m, width 0.15 m) with 2400 particles (dp = 4 mm, material: aluminium, p = 2700 kg m-3) showed a strong dependency of the flow behaviour with respect to the restitution and friction coefficient. A preliminary experimental validation of our model was performed using a small scale "two-dimensional" gas-fluidised bed (height 0.30 m, width 0.15 m, depth 0.015 m) with 850 µm ballotini glass particles (p = 2930 kg m-3) as the bed material. Results compared fairly well with the results of a simulation which was performed with 40,000 particles using realistic values for the restitution and friction coefficients which were obtained from simple independent experiments.