Published on January 6, 2014
Phases of Matter
There are four fundamental forms of matter. These are the: SOLIDS LIQUIDS GASES PLASMA
SOLIDS Are phases of matter that have their own shape and volume due to their rigid molecular structure. The molecules of a solid are tightly bound together and are held by a strong magnetic force. They have tremendous resistance to flow, and do not expand under normal circumstances like gases do.
Solids possess the following properties: Strength The property of a solid to withstand stress and strain. Elasticity The property of a solid to be deformed and expanded without breaking. Ductility The property of solids to be hammered into thin sheets. Flexibility The property of solids to be bent without breaking.
LIQUIDS Are phases of matter that have their own volume but cannot maintain their own shape. Liquid molecules are drawn together by intermolecular bonds for them to maintain a definite volume, but the bond is weak to have them maintain a particular shape. Thus, liquids tend to flow and take the shape of the container they are put in.
Liquids possess the following properties: Surface Tension The property of a liquid’s surface molecules to hold together under stress without breaking. Viscosity The property of a liquid to resist flow. Fluidity The property of liquids to flow and take the shape of whatever container they are placed in.
GASES Are phases of matter that have neither their own volume nor their own shape due to having very weak or nearly no intermolecular bonds. Because of the weak bond between gas molecules, gases tend to fill up every part of the container they are set into; the molecules are so separated from each other that they can be compressed to increase their pressure.
Gases possess the following properties: Diffusion The property of gas molecules to spread out and combine with other molecules. Fluidity Gases flow in all directions. Compression The property of gas molecules to be bonded closer together.
PLASMA Are phases of matter that do not exhibit the properties of solids, liquids and gases. Plasma is also gaseous in form, but the difference between gas molecules and plasma molecules is that plasma molecules are “ionized”, which means that each atom can be either positively charged or negatively charged.
Plasmas possess the following properties: Ionization The property of plasma molecules that causes them to become positively or negatively charged. Electromagnetism Since plasma molecules are charged, they also exhibit magnetic properties.
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Phases of matter definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Look it up now!
Learn more about phases of matter in the Boundless open textbook.
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