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States of Matter

Atom

"The Atom"

States of Matter - What is Matter?
To understand the elements and States of Matter we need to ask a basic question. What is Matter? Matter is everything that takes up space and has weight matter has volume and mass. Matter is made up of tiny building blocks called Atoms. Atoms are very small at least a hundred times smaller than the width of a human hair. The exact size of the atom changes, depending on the element. The purest type of atom is called an element.

States of Matter - What are the 3 states of matter? What are the 4 states of matter?
Elements can be classified based on physical states, often referred to as the aggregate state of an element or the states of matter. At room temperature and pressure the Physical States, or states of matter, are solids, gases or liquids and these are referred to as the 3 states of matter. There are, in fact, 4 states of matter - the fourth state of matter is plasma.

States of Matter - Plasma
Liquid, solid and gas are the most common states of matter on Earth. However, much of the matter of universe is in the form of hot plasma. Therefore reference is sometimes made to the 4 states of matter. Plasma is a state of matter, similar to gas, in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized. Ionization is the formation of, or separation into, ions by heat, electrical discharge, radiation, or chemical reaction.

States of Matter - The 4 states of matter
The 4 states of matter are therefore:

  • Gas - A Gas is a state of matter has no definite shape or volume (A gas will expand to fill a container)
  • Solid - A Solid is a state of matter that has its own definite shape and volume
  • Liquid - A Liquid is a state of matter that has a definite volume (a liquid will take the shape of a container)
  • Plasma - Plasma is a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized

States of Matter - Changes to the states of matter
Most elements are solids, only 11 are gases and 2 are liquids. Changes, such as pressure and temperature, can alter the States of Matter (Physical States) of an element and can determine its relative density (mass or concentration), viscosity (how well it flows) and malleability (how easy it is to bend).

States of Matter - Physical and Chemical Properties
Most common substances exist as solids, liquids and gases which have diverse Physical and Chemical Properties. Matter can undergo physical and chemical changes.

States of Matter - Compounds
A compound is a combination of two or more elements. A lot of common, everyday matter, occurs as mixtures which are combinations of two or more substances. For the compound we know as water 2 atoms of Hydrogen combines with 1 atom of oxygen (H2O).

States of Matter - Phase Changes
The phase or state of matter can change when the temperature changes, these are called Phase Changes. For example, when a solid melts and becomes a liquid, it goes through a phase change in which the state of matter, or substance, has been altered. Changes in temperature to water can change it from a liquid (water) to a solid (ice) to a gas (water vapour / steam).

States of Matter - Chemical Formulas
Chemical reactions convert one chemical substance into another. A Chemical formula is a type of shorthand for representing the elements in a compound. For example, the chemical formula for water is H2
O which indicates that 2 atoms of Hydrogen combines with 1 atom of Oxygen.

States of Matter - Elements
The states of matter of all of the elements is given for normal conditions, i.e. a temperature of 20C. The 3 states of matter are either solid, liquid or gas. Most elements are solids, only 11 are gases and 2 are liquids.

Argon: Ar:  GAS
Chlorine: Cl  :  GAS
Fluorine: F  :  GAS
Helium: He  :  GAS
Hydrogen: H  :  GAS
Krypton: Kr  :  GAS
Neon: Ne  :  GAS
Nitrogen: N:  GAS
Oxygen: O   :  GAS
Radon: Rn:  GAS
Xenon: Xe   :  GAS
Bromine: Br:  LIQUID
Mercury: Hg:  LIQUID
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