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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Compression of non-gaseous substances

I learned about gas laws and their ability to compress. My science teacher told me that solids and liquids are incompressible. But when I learned about nuclear fission in bombs, it talks about ...
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Do exotic states of matter have high fusion cross-sections?

The Lawson criterion suggests that a chain fusion reaction will only occur in a confined plasma. Since it's a product of temperature and pressure (or density) a chain reaction would be virtually ...
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How much energy is released per unit mass from depressurizing degenerate matter?

A neutron star remnant consists mostly of neutron degenerate matter. If you happened to suddenly have 1 kg of it in your lap without the pressure necessary to keep it degenerate, I suppose it would ...
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If big bang theory is real.. then why do scientists do not accept “matter CAN disappear to Void”? [closed]

I believe in the big bang theory.. perhaps it was a big lightning not an explosion.. but even that is pretty much same as "big bang theory".. so matter came from "nothing" (zero). and existence is ...
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35 views

What is the viscosity difference between a solid and a liquid

The pitch drop experiment, for example, shows bitumen as a liquid, even though it appears to be a solid, and then there is the "glass: solid or liquid" debate. Is there a numerical value in viscosity ...
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1answer
47 views

Is it always true that solid state matter is made up of repeating patterns?

In the chemistry book that I'm reading, it says: At even lower temperatures, the molecular movement becomes even more sluggish. The water molecules begin to align in a regularly repeating ...
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38 views

Is plasma an intermediate stage of matter? [duplicate]

Can it truly be called a stable state? Fire is stable while it has fuel but isn't it really just a transition point for solid to gas?
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41 views

Is it possible to have a line rather than a point where the three states of a substance can exist?

Most of us are familiar with state diagrams that define which of the three states a substance will take given the pressure and temperature. And that some substances, such as water for example, exhibit ...
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138 views

Is Marshmallow solid or liquid?

A marshmallow is a sugar candy that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, whipped to a spongy consistency, molded into small cylindrical pieces, and coated with corn starch. Link ...
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32 views

Can I plot a phase diagram (P against T) of a mixture if the mole compositions are known?

Is it possible? Or do I have to actually experiment it in a lab? If it's possible, what data would I need? I'm right now only given the mole percentages and the weight percentages. I do know I can ...
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4answers
83 views

What is the state of water at exactly 0°C?

Theoretically speaking, what is the state of water at bang on 0°C - not any lower or higher? Any lower would make it a solid whereas any higher would make it a liquid. But what about bang on 0°C? ...
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5answers
182 views

What compounds or elements only have one phase or two phases?

Wood appears to be one. I think gases like helium and hydrogen cannot exist in the solid state under normal pressures, correct? And why do those "phase cheaters"-- those elements/compounds which ...
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1answer
104 views

Is there an Ideal Liquid Law? Or Solid Law?

There is an Ideal Gas Law, but why isn't there one for liquids or solids? Is it because they are much too hard to predict or that solids and liquids vary drastically in their reaction to temperature ...
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145 views

Do different plasmas from different elements have different properties?

If so, what are some differences? Like between iron and gold? EDIT: Sorry, I need to clarify: By 'difference' I mean... do they retain their chemical properties from more normal temperatures? Like is ...
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1answer
60 views

Is it possible to have frozen clouds floating in the sky?

Not really a spoiler, but in the movie Interstellar there was a planet that had frozen clouds. Is this actually possible? I know ice is less dense than water and so can float, but I'm having a hard ...
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1answer
53 views

What distinguishes the difference states of matter from solid to BEC and perhaps fermionic condensate? [closed]

Is it something to do with the behavior of electrons? How many states are there either discovered or predicted?
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1answer
187 views

How does the notion of topological order relate to the Landau-Ginzburg theory of phase transitions?

As per Landau-Ginzburg (LG) theory, we write down a theory (Hamiltonian) with all possible interactions/operators (in terms of some order parameter) that respects certain symmetries. The ground state ...
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4answers
241 views

Can a single molecule have a state?

I was studying a book about thermodynamics of nanosystems and I got stuck with this question in my mind which I couldn't find an answer for. For instance, does a single water molecule have a state, ...
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143 views

What would happen if you open a bottle of fizzy drink in a weightless environment?

On Earth, pouring a fizzy drink into a glass or opening a bottle, you see the gas start to condense out into bubbles which rise upwards. You can't pour a Coke into a glass on the ISS but you could (I ...
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1answer
132 views

Can a fuzzball collapse into a singularity?

I've been reading Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps and got curious about extreme states of degenerate matter; a little research reveals that since the book was written quark and preon ...
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1answer
69 views

Electron degeneracy and helium flashes in stars

I have a question regarding the above mentioned. When a star have a mass of about 3-8 it does not go through the so-called helium flash phase, but instead just run along as nothing had happened, turn ...
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1answer
110 views

What does a sample of the Sun look like? Does it look like fire or gas?

Suppose that in the future a highly resistant spacecraft went to the Sun and collected three samples of the Sun: one from its surface, one from its core, and one midway. The three samples were put ...
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33 views

What does high-pressure ice look like? [duplicate]

Suppose one had a pressure chamber of extreme strength, strength enough to hold 100s of MPa worth of pressure inside. So you put some ice cubes in the chamber (regular ice), keeping the temperature ...
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312 views

Why does iron sink in molten iron instead of floating?

Why does iron sink in molten iron whereas ice floats on water? Both are solid states of their own form, so why is one floating and the other sinking?
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Is there a state beyond gas?

If you could boil water in a sealed container until it became vapor and you still kept applying heat to it would something happen? Maybe gas to super-gas? This has been on my mind for a long time I ...
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1answer
434 views

To what extent can the superconducting order parameter be thought of as a macroscopic wavefunction?

I know that the order parameter does not obey the Schrodinger equation; it instead obeys the Ginzburg-Landau equation. However, I am unclear as to the situations under which the view of the ...
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What keeps water molecules in air from falling down?

I was thinking about evaporative cooling, how the particles in water with the most velocity fly out of the water, leaving it colder. But then I thought, how come these water molecules stay in the air ...
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Is a plasma necessarily made of monoatomic ions?

Is it possible to have a plasma made of polyatomic ions instead of monoatomic ions? I want to know all the details why such a thing may be attainable or not and, if possible, what methods we can use ...
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96 views

(Why) is dumping liquid nitrogen on your head dangerous?

A chemist who dumped liquid nitrogen on his head described the act as very dangerous; yet, at the same time, he mentioned that the Leidenfrost effect would protect him from the dangers of this act. ...
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44 views

Quantum description of Raman effect

In the classical description of Raman effect the object of study is the electric polarizability of the system. Since I'm interested in learning the quantum description of the Raman effect and in ...
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1answer
128 views

Density of Solid States of Compounds

One of the wonderful properties of water (as my high school biology teacher would say) is that in its solid form, it is lighter than its liquid form. This means that when temperatures drop below 0 ...
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37 views

Pellet of lithium in a vacuum

What would happen to a grain of sand sized pellet of lithium in a vacuum? Because there is no pressure, would it become more like a sticky liquid?
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1answer
83 views

Stellar remnants in a state of matter denser than neutron-degenerate

When discussing the stellar life cycle, it's often stated that if the collapsing core of a star is bigger than the mass limit for a stable neutron star, it must collapse to a black hole. However, ...
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45 views

How to account for the huge difference in susceptibility of liquid and gaseous oxygen?

I noticed this while studying magnetic fields in matter from Griffiths' Electrodynamics book. A table is provided in the chapter which shows the materials with their respective susceptibilities. Under ...
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1answer
298 views

Why is supercritical fluid not considered a separate state of matter?

As given on this link, supercritical fluids are viewed more as a continuum which has both liquid and gas properties. This continuum is obtained when a gas is brought to a pressure and a temperature ...
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Why does ice melting not change the water level in a container?

I have read the explanation for this in several textbooks, but I am struggling to understand it via Archimedes' principle. If someone can clarify with a diagram or something so I can understand or a ...
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3answers
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Doubt about states of matter

What does exactly means "Small molecules may appear as solid, liquid, and gaseous phases without losing their molecular integrity"?, I can't image how just a molecule can be a gas, liquid or solid. ...
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Why can, or can not, a perfectly incompressible fluid exist?

Water is normally assumed to be an incompressible fluid - for example in the context of calculations involving water pressure. I wondered whether that is strictly true, or an approximation? Later I ...
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1answer
59 views

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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112 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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55 views

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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915 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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1answer
55 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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279 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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714 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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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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144 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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143 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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268 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 ...