Matter is made up of small particles. The matter around us exists in three
states:- solid, liquid and gas. The forces of attraction between the
particles are maximum in solids, intermediate in liquids and minimum in
gases. The spaces in between the constituent particles and kinetic energy
of the particles are minimum in the case of solids, intermediate in liquids
and maximum in gases. The arrangement of particles is most ordered in
the case of solids, in the case of liquids layers of particles can slip and
slide over each other while for gases, there is no order, particles just
move about randomly.
The states of matter are inter-convertible. The state of matter can
be changed by changing temperature or pressure. Sublimation is the
change of solid state directly to gaseous state without going through
liquid state. Deposition is the change of gaseous state directly to solid
state without going through liquid state. Boiling is a bulk phenomenon.
Particles from the bulk (whole) of the liquid change into vapour state.
Evaporation is a surface phenomenon. Particles from the surface gain
enough energy to overcome the forces of attraction present in the liquid
and change into the vapour state. The rate of evaporation depends upon
the surface area exposed to the atmosphere, the temperature, the
humidity and the wind speed. Evaporation causes cooling. Latent heat of
vaporisation is the heat energy required to change 1 kg of a liquid to gas
at atmospheric pressure at its boiling point. Latent heat of fusion is the
amount of heat energy required to change 1 kg of solid into liquid at its
Now scientists are talking of five states of matter: Solid, Liquid,
Gas, Plasma and Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). The Plasma consists
of super energetic and super excited particles. These particles are in the
form of ionised gases. The BEC is formed by cooling a gas of extremely
low density, about one-hundred-thousandth the density of normal air, to
super low temperatures. You can log on to www.chem4kids.com to get
more information on these fourth and fifth states of matter.
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