States of Matter

What is matter?

The term matter traditionally refers to the substance that objects are made of.

Matter is anything that has both mass and volume.

So anything that has a weight and takes up space is Matter, it does not have to have much weight but some.

Volume is the amount of space something occupies.

OC1 name three states of matter and know their characteristics

Properties of matter

The ancient people of Greece, as told by Empedocles in 400 BC, believed that all things of the universe came in a state that was similiar to

While over time these 4 elements took on spirituality identities too, this is the basis of the states of matter.

List out substances that we could consider to be matter, and say which of the ancient elements it is most like

Can we now catagorise groups of these matter samplesThose that are like earth could be called _____________?Those that are like water could be called _____________?Those that are like air could be called _____________ ?Now go back to the list and correctly attribute the ancient elements

to S____ L_____ or G_____

characteristics of solids liquids and gases


The particles (ions, atoms or molecules) are packed closely together. The forces between particles are strong enough so that the particles cannot move freely but can only vibrate. As a result, a solid has a stable, definite shape, and a definite volume. Solids can only change their shape by force, as when broken or cut.

In crystalline solids, the particles are arranged in an ordered three-dimensional structure. There are many different crystal structures, and the same substance can have more than one structure (or solid phase).

For example, iron has a body-centred cubic structure at temperatures below 912°C, and a face-centred cubic structure between 912°C and 1394°C.

Ice has fifteen known crystal structures, or fifteen solid phases which exist at various temperatures and pressures.

Solids can be transformed into liquids by melting, and liquids can be transformed into solids by freezing.

Solids can also change directly into gases through the process of sublimation.


The volume is definite if the temperature and pressure are constant.When a solid is heated above its melting point, it becomes liquid. Intermolecular (or interatomic or interionic) forces are still important, but the molecules have enough energy to move relative to each other and the structure is mobile. This means that the shape of a liquid is not definite but is determined by its container. The volume is usually greater than that of the corresponding solid, with the noteworthy exception of water, H2O. The highest temperature at which a given liquid can exist is its critical temperature.Some Liquids are very slow flowing, this gives them the impression of being solid. But over time they flow and deform. Eg Glass Science Putty! Make a bouncy ball, have a play, then put it back in the tin over wkend!


In a gas, the molecules have still more energy, so that the effect of intermolecular forces is small (or zero for an ideal gas), and the molecules are far apart from each other and can move around quickly. A gas has no definite shape or volume, but occupies the entire container in which it is confined. A liquid may be converted to a gas by heating at constant pressure to the boiling point, or else by reducing the pressure at constant temperature.

At temperatures below its critical temperature, a gas is also called a vapor, and can be liquefied by compression alone without cooling. A vapor can exist in equilibrium with a liquid (or solid), in which case the gas pressure equals the vapor pressure of the liquid (or solid).

Properties of the various states of matter

Substances can change states

for more on that go to Changes of state


Fluids are substance that flow,

so Gases and Liquids are Fluids,

because they do not have a definite shape and can flow and occupy the shape of the container they are put in.

The sun, like most celestial bodies, spins on its axis. As the sun is not a solid body, all parts of it do not rotate in unison (at the same rate); the equator rotates once every 25 days while points near the poles take 34 days for one rotation.


Imagine being at home and smelling somebody cooking some lovely food downstairs. How does the smell of the cooking get to you upstairs doing your homework.

It gets there by diffusion. Random aroma molecules leave the cooking food almost by evaporation, these particles travel out from the food. But their path is not a straight one. Every little distance along a path it gets hit by another particle this makes it go another direction.

Diffusion can be demonstrated by

  1. Light a Josh stick in a corner of the room
  2. Open a bottle of scent
  3. Drop a coffee granule in a petri dish of water, watch on a visualizer
  4. Place a crystal of potassium permangate in a large volume of water water gently
  5. In a double bunged tube place 2 cotton wool balls, one soaked in conc. Ammonia solution & the other in Conc HCl sol do this in a fume cupboard,

In the last demonstration you will witness 2 gases or vapours diffusin. You may notice that one diffuses more quickly than the other one. Which gas diffuses quicker?

The smaller lighter particles diffuse faster than heavier molecules.

Diffusion is the movement of the free particles of a substance throughout a liquid or gas resulting in their equal distribution. The direction of diffusion is from an area where the concentration of the particles is higher to where they are in lower concentration. Diffusion is said to have stopped when the concentration of the particles of the substance is the same in all places in the liquid or gas.

Diffusion in gases is about 10,000 faster than in liquids. The faster diffusion in gases is due to the much higher speed of the particles plus the much more open space for the particles to move.

Diffusion is controlled by a process called Brownian Motion,

Brownian Motion

To observe Brownian Motion, look at a smoke cell or a covered slide of milk under a microscope.

What you should observe is the small particles randomly change direction and travel in straight lines between such motion. It is suggested by theory that the changes in direction come when the particles collide with other similar sized particles in the sample.

Einstein accurately estimated the size of atoms and molecules from observation of such Brownian motion.

You could plot your own brownian motion from Random Walks.

All you need is a pair of dice and a hexagonic map ......

Pick a starting point, any of the boxes on the map Choose 1 dice to decide direction, the other to decide how far in each direction that you travel. Colour in the path on the grid, when you get to the destination, roll the dice again.

Changes of State

An applet here that might be good

There are not many things that are like fire,

Can you think of things that are not solid, gas or liquid but like fire (kinda) ?

List them out

  1. _____________________________
  2. _____________________________
  3. _____________________________

Did you mention Sparks? Lightning ? Along with fire we say that the matter in this case is a Plasma, although this is not officially on the course, in our modern lives we rely on technology that was made by plasma. A plasma is a very energetic gas in which the smallest parts are driven away from each other.

So what is a Plasma

A spark is created when the electric field rips electrons off atoms these can then move freely and carry electric current. A gas with free electrons and positive ions is also known as a plasma.

In physics and chemistry, plasma is a partially ionized gas, in which a certain proportion of electrons are free rather than being bound to an atom or molecule. The ability of the positive and negative charges to move somewhat independently makes the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. Plasma therefore has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids or gases and is considered to be a distinct state of matter. Plasma typically takes the form of neutral gas-like clouds, as seen, for example, in the case of stars.

There are 6 states of matter according to physicists

Change of states

Changes of state

Title To make your very own Tornado (vortex) in a bottle,


2 2l fizzy drinks bottles, helpful if they are the same type of bottle

A washer (rubber) the same size as the opening of the mouth

Insulating tape

Water colour


  1. Attach the washer to the mouth of one bottle using insulating tape
  2. Fill the other bottle with coloured water.
  3. Join the 2 bottles using the insulating tape
  4. Swirl the water in the bottom bottle,
  5. while swirling in the same direction

Results / Observations

What did you see or notice

Time the transfer ...

Can you speed up the transfer.

How can you achieve the slowest total transfer of water.


Conclusions or Comments