States of Matter

Topics: Condensed matter physics, State of matter, Phases of matter Pages: 8 (2570 words) Published: August 5, 2010
States of matter are the distinct forms that different phases of matter take on. Historically, the distinction is made based on qualitative differences in bulk properties. Solid is the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume and shape; liquid is the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume but adapts to the shape of its container; and gas is the state in which matter expands to occupy whatever volume is available.

This diagram shows the nomenclature for the different phase transitions. More recently, distinctions between states have been based on differences in molecular interrelationships. Solid is the state in which intermolecular attractions keep the molecules in fixed spatial relationships. Liquid is the state in which intermolecular attractions keep molecules in proximity, but do not keep the molecules in fixed relationships. Gas is that state in which the molecules are comparatively separated and intermolecular attractions have relatively little effect on their respective motions. Plasma is a highly ionized gas that occurs at high temperatures. The intermolecular forces created by ionic attractions and repulsions give these compositions distinct properties, for which reason plasma is described as a fourth state of matter.[1][2] Forms of matter that are not composed of molecules and are organized by different forces can also be considered different states of matter. Fermionic condensate and the quark–gluon plasma are examples. Although solid, gas and liquid are the most common states of matter on Earth, much of the baryonic matter of universe is in the form of hot Plasma, both as rarefied interstellar medium and as dense stars. States of matter may also be defined in terms of phase transitions. A phase transition indicates a change in structure and can be recognized by an abrupt change in properties. By this definition, a distinct state of matter is any set of states distinguished from any other set of states by a phase transition. Water can be said to have several distinct solid states.[3] The appearance of superconductivity is associated with a phase transition, so there are superconductive states. Likewise, liquid crystal states and ferromagnetic states are demarcated by phase transitions and have distinctive properties.

Because solids have thermal energy or heat capacity, their atoms vibrate about fixed mean positions within the ordered (or disordered) lattice. Shown here are the one-dimensional normal modes of vibration in a crystalline solid. The amplitude of the motion has been exaggerated, and is actually much smaller than the lattice parameter. The entire spectrum of lattice vibrations in a crystalline or glassy network plays a key role in the kinetic theory of solids. Contents [hide]

1 Classical states
1.1 Solid
1.2 Liquid
1.3 Gas
2 Non-classical states
2.1 Crystalline vs. glassy
2.2 Liquid crystal states
2.3 Magnetically ordered
3 Low-temperature states
3.1 Superfluids
3.2 Bose-Einstein condensates
3.3 Rydberg molecules
4 High-energy states
4.1 Plasma (ionized gas)
4.2 Quark-gluon plasma
5 Other proposed states
5.1 Degenerate matter
5.2 Supersolid
5.3 String-net liquid
5.4 Superglass
6 See also
7 Notes and references
8 External links
[edit]Classical states

Main article: Solid
The particles (ions, atoms or molecules) are packed closely together. The forces between particles are strong enough so that the particles cannot move freely but can only vibrate. As a result, a solid has a stable, definite shape, and a definite volume. Solids can only change their shape by force, as when broken or cut.

A crystalline solid: atomic resolution image of strontium titanate. Brighter atoms are Sr and darker ones are Ti. In crystalline solids, the particles (atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in an ordered three-dimensional structure. There are many different crystal structures, and the same substance can have more than one structure (or solid phase). For...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • States of Matter Essay
  • States Of Matter Essay
  • States of matter Essay
  • State of Matter Research Paper
  • states of matter Essay
  • States Of Matter Essay
  • Essay about States of Matter
  • States Of Matter PhET Lab Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free