on . Posted in Thermodynamics

matter 1When you look around, everything you see or may not see in the universe is made up of matter.  If it has a mass and takes up space, it is matter.  There are three basic states of matter that everybody can recognize, gas, liquid, and solid.  There is a fourth which most people do not thinks of, plasma, it the most common state of them all.

Almost all matter is composed of an electric charge.  All electric charges are either positive or negative.  Like charges repel each other, unlike charges attract each other.  Matter that has no overall charge is called neutral.


Matter Types

  • Gas  -  Able to be compressed to fit a confined space and expanded when released.
  • Liquid  -  A specific volume and can hold any shape it is contained within.
  • Plasma  -  It is everywhere in the universe and the most common of all matter.  Of all types of matter it is closest to a gas.
  • Solid  -  Has particles that are compressed together in an orderly pattern.


matter phasesMatter transition  phases

  Phase Change    Name 
gas to liquid condensation
gas to solid deposition
liquid to solid freezing
gas to plasma ionization
solid to liquid melting
plasma to gas recombination
solid to gas sublimation
liquid to gas vaporization


enthalpy of systemEnthalpy of system

The chart to the right shows the transitional phase change between gas, liquid, an solid.  Gas having the highest enthalpy, liquid having intermediate enthalpy, and liquid having the lowest enthalpy.








phase to phase transition 2Phase to phase transition

This diagram shows the arrangement of the physical properties between solids, liquids, and gas.









Matter Properties

 Properties Gas Liquid Solid
Compressibility Yes Low No
Density Low Moderate High
Expandability Yes Yes No
Intermolecule force strength Weak Moderate Strong
Particle Movement Free movement Free movement No free movement
Shape Infinite Infinite Fixed
Shear Resistance Yes Yes No
Viscosity Low Varies No
Volume Infinite Fixed Fixed


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Tags: Gas Equations Liquid Equations Matter Classifications Properties of