If every thing is either 'solid', 'liquid' or 'gas' then what is fire?
What would your answer be?
Looks to be a combination of either solid+gas (solid fire) or liquid+gas (liquid fire). Depends on what fuel material is burning:
Remember the fire triangle -- heat, fuel, oxygen.
First, everything is not solid, liquid, or gas. There are many other forms of matter, such a plasma. The flame you see is, in fact, a partial plasma. It's composed of gas atoms, some of which have electrons stripped from them. The recombination of these free electrons with the atoms is what produces the visible light.
Oh, good point! I spaced the plasma part of it. Kind of like your avatar....
I know about solids, liquids, gasses and plasmas. What other forms of matter exist?
Einstein-Bose condensates, degenerate matter (such as in a neutron star)... but I'm not sure if they're really considered 'states' in the official sense of the term.
edit: Holy cats, Chroot. That list is making my eyes hurt.
Of course they are. Even simple things like their pressure-volume relationships are distinctly different than 'ordinary' states like gas and liquid.
Just don't remember being taught that in school. :grumpy:
Appreciate that, chroot!
Wow I have a feeling most people here know about the things on the list, but just didn't consider them to be categorized as their own state of matter! Thats definitely what i thought of Amorphous solids.
It's not a very useful question - it's a bit like "how many seas are there".
I would say that there are solids,liquids,gases.
Once you start adding Bose-Einstein condensates etc then you have to pretty much have a different state for each material. A metal is different from a glass so are they different states of matter?
I would argue that even plasma is just a charged gas - it behaves differently to a gas but then so does a magnetised solid.
Again, plasma is a distinct state of matter, because several physical quantities (like heat capacity) change abruptly when moving from the gas state to the plasma state. Futhermore, there's a jump in free energy between a gas and a plasma -- you have to add energy to dissociate the atoms.
There's also a pretty impressive change when helium goes superfluid!
I don't know if plasma is more fundemental jus because it was discovered earlier.
My point was that 'states of matter' is not as useful a distinction as it used to be now that we know about macroscopic quantum effects.
It's a bit like the 'number of planets' question - do you count every rock, is Pluto a planet - arguing about where the boundary lies doesn't really tell you much about orbital mechanics.
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