Chem4Kids.com Home Page Matter Atoms Elements Reactions Biochemistry Activities Chem4kids Sections Search
States of Matter
 

States of Matter

Five States of Matter: Condensate, Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma

We look at five states of matter on the site. Solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, and Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) are different states that have different physical properties. Each of these states is also known as a phase. Elements and compounds can move from one phase to another when specific physical conditions change. For example, when the temperature of a system goes up, the matter in the system becomes more excited and active. If enough energy is placed in a system, a phase change may occur as the matter moves to a more active state.

Energy from a stove heats up liquid water and creates steam (gas). Think about it this way. Let’s say you have a glass of water (H2O). When the temperature of the water goes up, the molecules get more excited and bounce around a lot more. If you give a liquid water molecule enough energy, it escapes the liquid phase and becomes a gas.

Have you ever noticed that you can smell a turkey dinner after it starts to heat up? As the energy of the molecules inside the turkey heat up, they escape as a gas. You are able to smell those volatile molecules that are mixed in the air.

It’s About the Physical

"Phase" describes a physical state of matter. The key word to notice is physical. Things only move from one phase to another by physical means. If energy is added (like increasing the temperature) or if energy is taken away (like freezing something), you have created a physical change.
The state of matter changes as you add more energy.

When molecules move from one phase to another they are still the same substance. There is water vapor above a pot of boiling water. That vapor (or gas) can condense and become a drop of water in the cooler air. If you put that liquid drop in the freezer, it would become a solid piece of ice. No matter what physical state it was in, it was always water. It always had the same chemical properties.

On the other hand, a chemical change would build or break the chemical bonds in the water molecules. If you added a carbon (C) atom, you would have formaldehyde (H2CO). If you added an oxygen (O) atom, you would create hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Neither new compound is anything like the original water molecule. Generally, changes in the physical state do not lead to any chemical change in molecules.

Next Stop On Chem4Kids Tour
Next Page on Matter

 
- Overview
> States
- Phase Change I
- Phase Change II
- Chemical-Physical
- Solids
- Liquids
- Evaporation
- Gases
- Plasmas
- BE Condensate
- Mixtures I
- Mixtures II
- Solutions I
- Solutions II
- Mixture Ex.

MORE CHEMISTRY TOPICS



Link to Cosmos4Kids.com Link to Biology4Kids.com Link to Chem4Kids.com Link to Geography4Kids.com Link to Physics4Kids.com Link to NumberNut.com Rader Network Side Navigation
 

Liquid Lakes on Titan (NASA/JPL Video)
RETURN TO TOP
- or -

Matter Quiz

States of Matter Quiz

Keywords for Review

Kinetic Energy: The energy of an object related to the motion of the object. On a simple level, an object that is not moving has no kinetic energy. An object that is moving has some amount of kinetic energy. The more an object moves, the more kinetic energy it has. An object increases its kinetic energy if it accelerates and increases its velocity. For example, as you increase the temperature of a gas, the molecules become more energetic and the system has an overall increase in kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy=(0.5)* mass * (velocity)2

Exothermic: A chemical reaction that releases energy after the reaction is complete. The energy is usually released as heat, but it can also be released as light or sound. On a small scale, a burning candle releases light and heat because of exothermic reactions as the wax burns. On a large scale, an explosion might occur when blasting with sticks of dynamite (TNT).

Activation Energy: The least amount of energy needed for a chemical reaction to occur. Reactions often require some amount of energy to get moving. For example, placing hydrogen and oxygen gases in a container will not give you water. There is a certain amount of energy required to get the first reaction going. Catalysts are substances that help to lower activation energies so that reactions can proceed.

Viscosity: A term used to measure the fluidity of a liquid. As the attractions between the molecules increase, viscosity increases. Fluids with high viscosities don’t flow easily. Some substances such as honey or sap are very slow moving and have high viscosities. Other fluids such as water or mercury (Hg) have very low viscosities.

Volatile: Volatility is the likelihood that a substance will vaporize (become a gas). Volatility measurements are all about comparing two substances. Substances with a higher vapor pressure are more volatile. Alcohol is more volatile than water because it evaporates at a lower temperature.

Stateroom: Is this the place where they store states of matter? Nope. A stateroom is a large room found in a mansion. Historically, there were very well decorated and built to impress other people. What states of matter can you find in a state room? There will be solid furniture. Gases will fill up the room. You may even find liquids in glasses if people are having a party.

Useful Reference Materials

Encyclopedia.com:
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/states_of_matter.aspx
Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_of_matter
Encyclopædia Britannica:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/369668/matter
NYU.edu (What is matter?):
http://www.nyu.edu/pages/mathmol/textbook/whatismatter.html
NASA:
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/state.html
NASA (PDF):
http://astroventure.arc.nasa.gov/teachers/pdf/AV-Astronolesson-Part2.pdf


 
RELATED LINKS
- Chem4Kids: Phase Changes in Matter
- Biology4Kids: Scientific Method
- Physics4Kids: Heat Expansion
- Geography4Kids: Earth Structure
- Geography4Kids: Hydrosphere
- Geography4Kids: Earth's Atmosphere
- Cosmos4Kids: Vacuum of Space

  RETURN TO TOP
or
Search for more information...

* The custom search only looks at Rader's sites.
 



Help Page Go for site help or a list of chemistry topics at the site map!
©copyright 1997-2014 Andrew Rader Studios, All rights reserved.
Current Page: Chem4Kids.com | Matter | States of Matter


** Andrew Rader Studios does not monitor or review the content available at these web sites. They are paid advertisements and neither partners nor recommended web sites.