States of Matter (Book)

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Solids, Liquids, Gases, and Plasmas


States of matter are the different forms in which matter can exist. Look at Figure. It represents water in three states: solid (iceberg), liquid (ocean water), and gas (water vapor in the air). In all three states, water is still water. It has the same chemical makeup and the same chemical properties. That’s because the state of matter is a physical property.

This photo represents solid, liquid, and gaseous water. Where is the gaseous water in the picture?

How do solids, liquids, and gases differ? Their properties are compared in Figure below and described below. You can also watch videos about the three states at these URLs:



These three states of matter are common on Earth. What are some substances that usually exist in each of these states?

Lesson Objectives
  • Describe matter in the solid state.
  • State properties of liquid matter
  • Identify properties of gases.
  • Describe plasma.
  • Explain the relationship between energy and states of matter.