States of Matter

Maggie Lou Geiger


Definition: The state of matter in which materials have a definite shape and a definite volume.

3 important details:

1. Changing the container doesn't change the shape or volume of a solid.

2. Almost all solids have some type of orderly arrangement of particles at the atomic level.

3. The term definite doesn't mean that the shape or volume can never change.


1. Colored pencils

2. A shirt

3. A clarinet


Definition: The state of matter in which a material has a definite volume but not a definite shape.

3 important details:

1. Medium kinetic energy.

2. Molecules move more freely, but are close together.

3. Takes the shape of the container.


1. Glass of orange juice

2. Paint

3. A cup of tea


Definition: The state of matter in which a material has neither a definite shape or a definite volume.

3 important details:

1. Can take the shape and volume of its container.

2. Has high kinetic energy.

3. Molecules are far apart and can move more freely.


1. Natural gas

2. Helium in a balloon

3. Air


Definition: An ionized gas consisting of positive ions and free electrons in proportions resulting in more or less no overall electric charge, typically at low pressures or at very high temperatures.

3 important details:

1. Most common phase of matter in the universe.

2. Can be thought of as a gas consisting of electrons instead of atoms.

3. Particles have extremely large amounts of energy.


1. Stars

2. Lightning

3. Fluorescent lights

Bose-Einstein Condensate

Definition: A state of matter that forms below a critical temperature in which all bosons in the matter fall into the same quantum state.

3 important details:

1. Einstein predicted this state of matter in the 1920's.

2. It only exists at extremely low temperatures, -273 degrees C (absolute zero: 0 K).

3. Groups of atoms behave as though they are a single particle.


1. Superfluid

2. Superconductor

3. Neutron star