Physicists classify matter according to the state of matter, which are gas, liquid and solid. A material is either in one of these states depending on the temperature and/or pressure applied to it. One characterises the state of matter by the mechanical response of a material under pressure.

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Do gases have a general upper limit of density?

Is there some limit for the density of gases, at which no change in condition could make it more dense without making it fluid, or solid - or something 'in between'?
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75 views

Why is copper a metal?

Context: Solid state physics Question: Can it be reasoned in the context of solid state physics (perhaps within the band theory of solids?) that copper is a metal ?
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Is there an analogue to the role of vapor in liquids and gases, but for solids and liquids?

It seems common for an ordered phase to have some amount of disorder present. For example, the average moment of a ferromagnet is less than maximum except at T=0 due to the presence of fluctuations. ...
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145 views

Why does my kettle only make a noise when it is turned on

Almost as soon as I turn my kettle on it starts to make the familiar kettle noise, yet very shortly after turning off the power the boiling noise stops and the kettle is totally silent. The ...
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30 views

States of Matter and Equilibrium

Can I say that, matter generally when cooled decreases in volume because, when it is cooled,i.e., we lower the temperature of the surroundings, then the avg. energy of our sample will be higher than ...
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38 views

Are there new states of matter at ultrahigh temperatures and densities?

Under extreme energetic conditions, matter undergoes a series of transitions, and atoms break down into their smallest constituent parts. Those parts are elementary particles called quarks and ...
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129 views

To which state of matter does the flame belong to?

I had this question from the day(9 years old, now 16) that i learned about states of matter. I have asked so many of my teachers some of them told me gas some as plasma etc. can anyone answer my ...
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165 views

Ice bath is always 3C, why?

I've always learned that a mixture of ice and water should reach equilibrium at approximately 0C. I've actually tried to create that a number of times in different contexts and always fail. First, ...
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96 views

What is the probability of ice in boiling water?

Ice crystals are spatially ordered, and in every randomness there is a low possibility of temporarily order. If given enough boiling water, and sufficient time, could local clusters water molecules ...
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52 views

Triple points for other substances

Can substances other than H2O have a triple point, where the three usual phases of matter (solid/liquid/gas) can exist?
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Potential energy for different states

While studying thermal physics at school, I have been taught that solids simply have more potential energy than the liquids and gases. Note that it was said that this potential energy is due to the ...
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99 views

Why do many books say quasineutrality is needed for a plasma to exist?

Many books on plasma physics (Chen, Goldston, Lieberman) say that quasineutrality must be satisfied for the matter in question to be a plasma. Yet, we know that non-neutral plasmas exist. So why do so ...
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122 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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124 views

What determines a state of matter?

Earlier I studied about the three states of matter-gaseous,liquid ans solid. Then, I came to know about Plasma and Bose-Einstein Condensate. Now, scientists are trying to explain superconductivity as ...
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394 views

Why does sweetness of coke change after freezing completely

I freeze my coke in a freezer completely to solid and then keep it out to melt and as it melts portion by portion I starts to drink, initially It will be very sweet and later it wont be sweet at all. ...
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133 views

Burning VS Melting: What is the relation in the atomic/molecular structure?

This has never been asked before on this site, so I thought I would ask this to help future searchers, passerbys, or others understand this better. What are the key differences between burning ...
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60 views

Microwaves and state of matter

Does the heating efficiency of a microwave oven depend on the state of matter that it heats? If yes, how?
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Can plasma turn back into gas, solid, or liquid?

I wanted to know if, since basic chemistry teaches you that states of matter can be changed, I was wondering particularly about plasma. I know that virtually all of the Sun is plasma, so I was ...
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407 views

Why is lightning considered a plasma?

I was wondering why a lightning bolt is coined as "plasma", or a "spark" from an electrical wire/device is as well, yet flares, molten lava, and burning buildings are not(flares are pyrotechnic, ...
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125 views

Cloud Microphysics - Does It contain Ice Or Water Or Both?

I'm not sure if this is the right site to post this on but I have a project where I have some cloud microphysical properties: ...
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155 views

Speed of sound in non-newtonian fluids

Recently I saw some videos of non-newtonian (shear-thickening) fluids like corn starch mixed with water(sometimes known as oobleck), where the fluid is placed on top of a speaker cone and starts to ...
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111 views

Are there critical constants for liquid-solid transition?

I'm aware of the critical constants for gas-liquid transition but is there such constants for liquid-solid transition? Like the maximum temperature above which a liquid cannot be solidified.
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295 views

Is a plasma a distinct phase of matter?

Long ago I learned that a plasma was a distinct state of matter after solid, liquid and gas, and also that it was achieved by imparting heat to a the matter. But most references describe a plasma as ...
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How does one calculate where the “surface” of a gas-giant would be?

Okay, so Jupiter, Saturn, et. al are gas giants. I understand that they have large gassy atmospheres, which, due to the pressure would eventually become more and more dense as one approaches the ...
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What is physics behind States of matter?

States of matter in physics are the distinct forms that different phases of matter take on. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. What is physics ...
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Besides water, which substances are less dense as solids than as liquids?

You can read everywhere about water's extraordinary property of expanding when frozen, thus the reason ice floats on liquid water. What other substances do this? There are claims of mercury, silica, ...
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Is there an inherent difference between solids, liquids, and gases?

I know that at very large scales, solids behave like liquids, which is why planets are round, rather than knobbly. I also understand that you can pour some gases, and, if I have this right, that the ...
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Can a rock be considered frozen

Water usually comes to mind when thinking about freezing. Once it reaches a certain temperature, water freezes, becoming a solid. However could you make the same statement about a rock? Is a rock at ...
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Is play-dough liquid or solid?

At room temperature, play-dough is solid(ish). But if you make a thin strip it cannot just stand up on it's own, so is it still solid? On a more general note, what classifies or differentiates a ...
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Dry Ice in Liquid States [closed]

If I melt the dry ice in a pool. I am thinking that Can I have bath without getting wet by melted dry ice?
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208 views

Why does water have several different solid phase but only one liquid and gas phase

Why does water have several different solid phase but only one liquid and gas phase? Is there any meaning? or any reason behind it? Or is it just the way the nature behaves?
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229 views

Triple point temperature and freezing point

Why does the triple point temperature have very similar values to the freezing point, in most substances?
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131 views

Identical fermions in the same quantum state

If we are to take two Hydrogen atoms and subject them to the same potential, then wouldn't both Hydrogen atoms be in the same exact quantum state? This bother me because no two identical fermions can ...
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93 views

Is the crystallization of a heat pack the same as the crystallization of freezing water?

Is the crystallization of a heat pack the same as the crystallization of freezing water? If so, why does one generate heat where the other does not?
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Is it possible to have a Gas heavier than a liquid?

Does such a pair of substances exist, that in certain physical conditions (temperature, pressure) when both are placed in the same conditions, one will be a liquid, the other - a gas, and the gas ...
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What happens to the temperature of the water when you add salt to a bowl of melting ice?

If you have a bowl of ice that's melting, so the ambient temperature is just above 0 °C, what happens to the temperature of the water when you add salt? I know that the freezing point of salt water ...
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Where on Earth can you find plasma?

Ok, so not that 'where on earth', like literally - 'Where on Earth'. Where on Earth, can you find matter in the 4th state, i.e. the plasma state?
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Is supercritical CO2 a newtonian fluid?

Is supercritical CO2 a newtonian fluid? I can't seem to find any articles describing the stress-strain relationship for carbon-dioxide in a supercritical state (high temperature/pressure ...
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295 views

What's the common consensus on the meaning of “physical change”?

I'm doing a textbook problem that shows a "molecular level" view of some matter, little colored balls, before and after, and there are, among the four questions, two that say: 1) Did a physical change ...
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245 views

Distinctive properties of liquids

The molecules are closely arranged in solids, loosely arranged in liquids and are free to move in gases... But, Why are liquids (especially water) exhibiting these distinctive properties such as ...
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236 views

Why is plasma the highest “state” of matter?

As far as solid, liquid, gas, plasma go, why is plasma the highest state? Are there any other states of matter?
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How does the process of freezing water remove salt?

How does freezing water to make ice remove whatever salts were in the water to begin with?
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Why do non-Newtonian fluids go hard when having a sudden force exerted on them?

You can dip your hands into a bowl of non-Newtonian fluid but if you are to punch it, it goes hard all of a sudden and is more like a solid than anything else. What is it about a non-Newtonian fluid ...
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How does matter transform into energy and vice versa?

In what ways can energy transform into matter and vice versa? Annihilation is one way to tranform matter to energy. Fission is another (when splitting and atom, what happens to its two parts?) Are ...
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387 views

Why did my windshield freeze instantaneously?

It was very cold outside, this morning, when I took the car that slept in the snow, with a simple cloth on the windshield. I entered the vehicle, drove a kilometer or so. The air inside was so cold I ...
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272 views

Melting point, is it determined only experimentally?

I am interested in the underlying physics of the concept of a melting point, a temperature at which an object tends to gain enough energy to break the bonds that hold it together and be in a liquid ...
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2k views

Wave / particle duality question for sound and light

Sound is usually referred to as just "sound waves" - we do not talk about a "sound particle" and only as a wave or "matter wave." Could something similar apply to light i.e. that there really is no ...
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Difference between Steam and Fog / Mist

From a physics perspective, is there a difference between fog and steam? What is it and how does is manifest in properties of fog vs properties of steam?
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Why did my liquid soda freeze once I pulled it out of the fridge and opened it?

This isn't a duplicate to "Why did my liquid soda freeze once I pulled it out of the fridge?". My question is why soda froze after it was opened. Opening a can or bottle seems to have a larger effect ...
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What's the difference between gas and plasma?

A friend stated that stars are hot balls of gas, however we know that technically stars are plasma. Is his statement entirely incorrect? Can a plasma be considered a form of gas or should be referred ...