States of Matter

Maggie Lou Geiger

Solids

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.


Examples:

1. Colored pencils

2. A shirt

3. A clarinet

Liquids

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.


Examples:

1. Glass of orange juice

2. Paint

3. A cup of tea

Gases

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.


Examples:

1. Natural gas

2. Helium in a balloon

3. Air

Plasma

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.


Examples:

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.


Examples:

1. Superfluid

2. Superconductor

3. Neutron star