# Tagged Questions

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14k views

### Why does matter exist in 3 states (liquids, solid, gas)?

Why does matter on the earth exist in three states? Why cannot all matter exist in only one state (i.e. solid/liquid/gas)?
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### When I boil a kettle, what stops all the water from turning (exploding!) in to steam in one go once it reaches 100°C?

While making a cup of tea in the office kitchen, a colleague asked me this question and neither of us could answer with any certainty. We're guessing it has something to do with the pressure of the ...
13k views

### Why is boiling water loud, then quiet?

Water in my electric kettle makes the most noise sixty to ninety seconds before the water comes to a full boil. I have been fooled many times by the noisy kettle, only to discover that the water was ...
27k views

### First and second order phase transitions

Recently I've been puzzling over the definitions of first and second order phase transitions. The Wikipedia article starts by explaining that Ehrenfest's original definition was that a first-order ...
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### Why does a critical point exist? [duplicate]

I still cannot fully comprehend the essence of a critical point on phase diagrams. It is usually said in textbooks that the difference between liquid and gaseous state of a substance is quantitative ...
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### Can Lee-Yang zeros theorem account for triple point phase transition?

Now the prominent Lee-Yang theorem (or Physical Review 87, 410, 1952) has almost become a standard ingredient of any comprehensive statistical mechanics textbook. If the volume tends to infinity, ...
8k views

### Why is there more steam after a pot of water *stops* boiling?

I have a pot of vigorously boiling water on a gas stove. There's some steam, but not alot. When I turn off the gas, the boiling immediately subsides, and a huge waft of steam comes out. This is ...
611 views

### Why does water ($\mathrm{H_2O}$) only have two distinct fluid phases?

Water (and other substances) can exist in many distinct solid phases (with different crystallic micro-structure), but only in two fluid phases - liquid and gaseous, in which the molecules are oriented ...
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### What is “Dynamical phase transition”?

What is "Dynamical phase transition"? It is a fancy notion now. But what exactly does it mean? What is the difference between it and the conventional phase transition?
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### Ice cube left in water at 0 °C for a thousand years

Let's say we take an ideal calorimeter with a liter of water at +5 °C and throw a 5×5×5 cm cube of ice having temperature of –70 °C. I choose these initial parameters so that the stationary ...
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### Does this type of phase transition exist?

The short version of this question is: Is there, or could there be, a system with a phase transition where adding a small amount of heat causes a discontinuous jump in its temperature? Below are ...