Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space, and it can occur in five different forms: solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and Bose-Einstein condensate. Here is a description of each state of matter and some ways people use it.
When matter is in its gaseous state, its molecules or atoms are far apart and moving around rapidly. Besides breathing oxygen gas to stay alive, people use gases for the following things:
- Tire inflation
- Carbonation of soft drinks
- Heating of homes
A plasma is a gas whose atoms have absorbed so much energy that they become ionized. Plasma has some interesting uses, such as these:
- Plasma cutting Manitoba
- Forming of pictures in televisions
- Powering of neon signs
The particles of a liquid have more attraction for each other than those of a gas does, and the liquid flows as the particles move past each other. Uses of water and other liquids include the following:
- Energy generation
- Climate control
Anything that has a definite shape is considered a solid. Its particles are aligned very closely to each other and can only vibrate, rather than move around. The uses of solids are practically endless, but here are a few notable ones:
- Building materials
5. Bose-Einstein Condensate
A Bose-Einstein condensate occurs when atoms or molecules become so cold that they slow down to almost a complete stop. This state of matter is the least well-known, and also has the fewest uses. Once purely hypothetical, scientists have observed it under laboratory conditions only a few times. Thus, its only use, for now, is in scientific research.
Take a few minutes to look around and consider what states of matter exist in the room where you are. You may be surprised at the diverse states in which things exist.