Key PointsMatter have the right to exist in one of three main states: solid, liquid, or gas.Solid issue is written of tightly packed particles. A solid will certainly retain that is shape; the particles are not totally free to relocate around.Liquid matter is make of much more loosely packed particles. It will certainly take the shape of its container. Particles can move about within a liquid, yet they space packed densely sufficient that volume is maintained.Gaseous issue is composed of particles pack so loosely the it has actually neither a identified shape nor a characterized volume. A gas have the right to be compressed.

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TermssolidA substance that retains that is size and shape there is no a container; a substance who molecules cannot move freely other than to vibrate.gasA substance that have the right to only be contained if that is completely surrounded by a container (or organized together by gravitational pull); a substance who molecules have negligible intermolecular interactions and can move freely.liquidA substance that flows and also keeps no definite shape because its molecules are loosely packed and also constantly moving. The takes the form of that container yet maintains constant volume.

The three says of issue are the three distinctive physical forms that matter deserve to take in many environments: solid, liquid, and gas. In excessive environments, other states might be present, such as plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates, and also neutron stars. Additional states, such together quark-gluon plasmas, are likewise believed to be possible. Lot of the atomic issue of the world is warm plasma in the kind of rarefied interstellar medium and dense stars.

Historically, the claims of issue were distinguished based upon qualitative differences in their mass properties. Hard is the state in which matter maintains a resolved volume and also shape; fluid is the state in which matter adapts to the shape of its container however varies just slightly in volume; and gas is the state in i beg your pardon matter increases to accounting the volume and also shape the its container. Each of these three timeless states of matter can change directly right into either that the other two timeless states.

The states of matterThis diagram mirrors the nomenclature because that the various phase transitions.


A solid’s particles are packed very closely together. The forces between the particles are strong enough the the particles cannot relocate freely; they can only vibrate. Together a result, a solid has actually a stable, identify shape and a identify volume. Solids deserve to only readjust shape under force, as when broken or cut.

In crystalline solids, particles are packed in a consistently ordered, repeating pattern. Over there are countless different crystal structures, and also the very same substance can have an ext than one structure. Because that example, iron has a body-centered cubic framework at temperatures listed below 912 °C and a face-centered cubic structure in between 912 and also 1394 °C. Ice has actually fifteen recognized crystal structures, each of which exist at a various temperature and also pressure.

A solid can transform right into a liquid with melting, and a liquid have the right to transform into a solid v freezing. A solid deserve to also change directly into a gas through a procedure called sublimation.


A fluid is a liquid that conforms to the shape of that is container yet that retains a nearly continuous volume live independence of pressure. The volume is definite (does not change) if the temperature and also pressure are constant. When a heavy is heated over its melt point, it i do not care liquid because the pressure is higher than the triple allude of the substance. Intermolecular (or interatomic or interionic) forces are tho important, but the molecules have actually enough energy to relocate around, which provides the framework mobile. This means that a liquid is no definite in shape but rather conforms come the shape of the container. Its volume is usually higher than the of its matching solid (water is a well-known exemption to this rule). The highest possible temperature at which a particular liquid deserve to exist is called its vital temperature.

A liquid deserve to be convert to a gas v heating at continuous pressure to the substance’s boiling allude or with reduction of pressure at continuous temperature. This process of a liquid an altering to a gas is dubbed evaporation.


Gas molecules have actually either really weak bonds or no bonds at all, therefore they can move freely and also quickly. Since of this, not just will a gas conform to the shape of that is container, it will likewise expand to completely fill the container. Gas molecules have sufficient kinetic energy that the result of intermolecular pressures is little (or zero, for suitable gas), and they space spaced really far apart from every other; the common distance in between neighboring molecules is much higher than the size of the molecules themselves.

A gas at a temperature listed below its an important temperature can also be dubbed a vapor. A vapor deserve to be liquefied v compression without cooling. That can likewise exist in equilibrium with a fluid (or solid), in which case the gas pressure equals the vapor push of the liquid (or solid).

A supercritical liquid (SCF) is a gas whose temperature and also pressure are better than the critical temperature and an essential pressure. In this state, the difference between liquid and gas disappears. A supercritical fluid has the physical properties the a gas, yet its high density lends it the nature of a solvent in some cases. This deserve to be useful in number of applications. For example, supercritical carbon dioxide is provided to extract caffeine in the production of decaffeinated coffee.

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Phase transforms – YouTubeWhat walk a phase change look choose at the molecular level? This video takes a look at the molecular framework of solids, liquids, and also gases and also examines how the kinetic energy of the corpuscle changes. The video also discusses melting, vaporization, condensation, and also freezing.