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States of Matter

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Lesson: 27
Unit: 01
State Content Standard: 1a

Lesson Title: States of Matter
Textbook page: Pages 29; from lecture
Chemistry Passport: Page 41

1. Definition of the states of matter.
2. Describe the state changes.

Lesson Content

States of matter.JPG

There are six phases or states of matter but students in high school chemistry only need to focus on solids, liquids, gases, and plasma.<ref>Electric Universe</ref> Four states of matter are thermal whereas Bose-Einstein and filament are theoretical. Liquids and solids are often referred to as condensed phases because the particles are very close together. Gases, in contrast, do not behave as condensed phases and are studied separately. Adding energy to the solid phase, the substance goes through a phase change.

The three physical states of matter are interchangeable. Each change is denoted by a characteristic term. <ref>Sujatha Krishnaswamy</ref>

  • Solid → Liquid Melting
  • Liquid → Solid Freezing
  • Liquid → Gas Vaporization Evaporation
  • Gas → Liquid Condensation
  • Solid → Gas Sublimation
  • Gas → Solid Deposition


One of the three states of matter; has a fixed shape and volume.

Particles in a solid are tightly packed, usually in a regular pattern.

Particles in a solid vibrate (jiggle) but generally do not move from place to place.

Water can take the form of a solid, which can be an ice cube or glacier.


One of the three states of matter; has a fixed but takes the shape of its container.

Particles in a liquid are close together with no regular arrangement.

Particles in a liquid vibrate, move about, and slide past each other.

From solid to liquid intermolecular forces are broken then particles move faster.

Water, apple juice, chocolate milk, etc. are liquids.


Main article: Gases

Gases are one of three basic forms of matter, in which the molecules are in constant random motion. <ref>The American Heritage. (2002). Student Science Dictionary Houghton Mifflin, Boston.</ref> In fact, the relatively large distance between molecules suggest intermolecular forces have little influence on the motion of the molecules.

One of the three states of matter; has neither fixed shape nor fixed volume.

  1. Particles in a gas are well separated with no regular arrangement.
  2. Particles in a gas vibrate and move freely at high speeds.
Water can take the form of a gas called steam. Another example is the air you breathe, which includes oxygen.

Example Problems

1. When a molecule has little or no motion it is a what?


2. A substance that has no fixed volume or shape is a what?


3. What determines the state of a substance?


4. Which state of matter is the densest?

a solid

5. What is required for a substance to change form?


State Release Questions

24. Under the same conditions of pressure and temperature, a liquid differs from a gas because the molecules of the liquid

A. Have no regular arrangement.
B. are in constant motion.
C. have stronger forces of attraction between them.
D. take the shape of the container they are in.


A liquid has much more force between the molecules because their parts are closer together which causes it to have more force. A solid has the strongest force, and a gas has the least force.


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