Four states of matter
States of matter or all states of matter in science define one of the distant forms in which the aggregation of molecules occurs in nature. In learning chemistry or physics, the various types of substances that made up matter can be divided mainly into four states or phases such as solids, liquids, gases, and plasma. We observed these states by daily human experience. The states or phases of matter can change depending on the conditions like pressure and temperature. For example, solid state changes to the liquid or gas, or plasma by increasing temperature. Therefore, heat is added to the substances to change the states of matter from solid to liquid to gas to plasma.
Solid is changing to liquid at its melting point. Similarly, liquid changes to a gas at its boiling point. If heat is high enough, the state is entered into plasma. Two types of opposing molecular forces derive the states of matter.
- One is molecular forces of attraction which tend to hold the molecules together.
- Another is disruptive forces due to the thermal energy of the molecules.
The solid state of matter
The solid state of matter has a definite volume and shape. Therefore, component particles like atoms, ions, or molecules are closed together and arranged in a fixed place. In solid state of matter, the forces of attraction between the atoms, ions, or molecules are much greater than the thermal energy. The position of the molecules remains fixed in the solid state. The molecules in the solid state do not possess any translational energy. They have only vibrational energy. Therefore, they can vibrate about their mean position. That is why solids differ from liquid and gases in respect of size, shape, and volume. It changes to liquid by the addition of heat energy.
The liquid state of matter
Matter in the liquid state has a fixed volume but it contains variable shapes. Therefore, liquid can adapt the shape of the container where it can be placed. In a liquid state, the forces of attraction are greater than the thermal energy. The liquid molecule has kinetic energy but it cannot go very far due to larger forces of attraction amongst them. Due to this fact, liquid has a definite volume, but that does not have a definite shape. They take the shape of the vessel in which they are placed.
In general, the liquid state is more denser and less compressible than gases. On cooling a gas changes into the liquid state and further cooling, the liquid freezes into the solid states. Therefore, the liquid state is the intermediate between the gaseous and solid states of matter. In fact, a liquid has some of the properties of solid and gas.
Gaseous states of matter
The gaseous state of matter is characterized by a lack of definite volume and shape. In gaseous states, the matter has the property of filling any available space to a uniform density. Low density and high compressibility are also the characteristics of gases. If the thermal energy is much greater than the forces of attraction, then we find the gaseous state of matter. Molecules in a gaseous state move at very high speeds.
The forces of attraction amongst them are not sufficient to bind the molecules in one place. All the gases are found to expand to the same extent when heated to the same interval of temperature. In the gaseous state of matter, the thermal expansion is also the same. Gases have properties to obey some simple common pressure, volume, temperature, and mole number relation. These are called gas laws.
Plasma states of matter
A plasma state is one of the four fundamental states of matter like solid, liquid, and gases. Like gases, plasma state has no fixed shape and volume and is less dense than liquid or solid-state. It has gaseous ions, molecules, or atoms that contain positive or negatively charged particles.
Artificially, the plasma state of matter is created or generated by subjecting natural gas to a strong magnetic field or heating natural gas. In modern science or technology, the plasma state of matter can be used for making television or many electronic devices.