# States of matter

## Main Question or Discussion Point

How many states of matter are there? I know of liquid, gas, solid, and plasma. Is epsilon a state of matter? How many states of matter exist as you approach a black hole? How many states of matter were there a moment after the big bang?

## Answers and Replies

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Hi there,
What do you mean by epsilon....It's a greek letter, not a state of matter. About the second point. That depends on how long you take the moment. After the first second there were already atoms.... It started out with a hot plasma of quarks if thats what you mean.

Chi Meson
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Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and Texas

wolram
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plus BEC

Originally posted by Chi Meson
Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and Texas
Could you please tell me more about texas state of matter?[?]

Chi Meson
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Originally posted by benzun_1999
Could you please tell me more about texas state of matter?[?]
Sorry, I though the post was "states that matter"!

And no I'm not from Texas, but the joke would have been pathetic if I used my own home state (Connecticut).

Seriously though. "Phases of matter" are destinguished by the requirement of passing through a "latent heat" stage; where heat is added bu the temperature does not increase. I have some questions:

Is there a latent heat of plasmafication? (is that a word?)
And is there a latent heat as matter changes into BEC?
Or is there a fundamental difference between saying "state of matter" and "Phase of matter"?

FZ+
I wouldn't put latent heat, IMHO - its more a matter of any sort of phase change, where we have a sudden, discontinuous change in the behaviour of the substance. By that definition, superfluid is probably also a state of matter, albeit one only easily attained by a few elements.

Chi Meson
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THat's sort of why there is a difference, to me, between the words "phase" and "state." "Phase" is more idrectly referring to the sloped and plateau regions of a standard temperature-heat diagram. Whereas "state" is a more general word that suggests a "total energy" condition.

For example, water as a vapor has to break apart before state of plasma can be achieved. Is there a change of state as the molecule breaks up? I'd say most definately. Is it a change of phase? I'd say technically no, because the substance is changing from molecular to elemental properties.

i know about 5 states of matter - solid,liquid,gases,plasma,absolute zero(BEC).

and to add up to this fz told about superfluid. are there more?

is beam a state of matter?

-benzun
All For God.

chroot
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Originally posted by benzun_1999
i know about 5 states of matter - solid,liquid,gases,plasma,absolute zero(BEC).
Bose-Einstein condensates are not at absolute zero. They can occur in principal at any temperature, though in practice they usually occur at very low temperatures. Absolute zero is unobtainable, in this unvierse anyway.
and to add up to this fz told about superfluid. are there more?
A superfluid is a Bose-Einstein condensate.
is beam a state of matter?
No.

- Warren

thanks chroot!

What is BEC?

Isn't there a state of matter for matter under exreeme pressure and temp. called epsilon?

Originally posted by Chi Meson
Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and Texas

chroot
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Originally posted by S = k log w
What is BEC?
A Bose-Einstein condensate is a (usually) very cold substance in which all of the atoms enter the same quantum (ground) state. Because all of the atoms are in the same quantum state, they move as one, and display quantum-mechanical properties at macroscopic scales. Some examples: so-called superfluids like ultracold liquid Helium-4 are Bose-Einstein condensates. The superfluids flow without viscosity, and can flow up the sides of a container, or easily through microscopic pores. They also demonstrate the quantization of angular momentum.
Isn't there a state of matter for matter under exreeme pressure and temp. called epsilon?
Not that I'm aware of. The general progression of "phases" in a collapsing star are:

1) Normal, neutral gas.
2) Ionized gas (plasma).
3) Electron-degenerate gas.
4) Neutron gas.
5) Neutron-degenerate gas.
6) Black hole.

- Warren

Chi Meson
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I hope no one minds if I repeat my question: is there any sort of "plateau" in a temperature-heat curve as a gas changes into a plasma state?

chroot
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Originally posted by Chi Meson
I hope no one minds if I repeat my question: is there any sort of "plateau" in a temperature-heat curve as a gas changes into a plasma state?
There must be -- the ionization of the gas' atoms takes energy. The newly-freed electrons don't contribute much to the total internal energy of the gas anyway.

- Warren

Chi Meson
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Originally posted by chroot
There must be -- the ionization of the gas' atoms takes energy. The newly-freed electrons don't contribute much to the total internal energy of the gas anyway.

- Warren
That was my inclination. So a plasma is not a plasma until ALL the electrons are gone? THis would mean that the interior of stars are totally without electrons. ANd if so, where are all those electrons?

chroot
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Originally posted by Chi Meson
That was my inclination. So a plasma is not a plasma until ALL the electrons are gone? THis would mean that the interior of stars are totally without electrons. ANd if so, where are all those electrons?
Well, if the gas is half ionized, it's neither gas nor plasma, but both -- just as ice floating in water is neither solid nor liquid, but both.

The electrons don't leave -- they're in the soup along with the nuclei. A plasma is just a gas where some particles are nuclei, and some particles are electrons.

- Warren

Does the speed of plasma, (or of said matter at any state) affect how hot or cold it may be?

Define what you mean when you say hot or cold.

How about Glass, a super cooled liquid or a solid? Or does that depend on you viewing it!!! I’ve even seen it argued that glass is it’s own state of matter???
Philip

Chi Meson
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Originally posted by philipc
How about Glass, a super cooled liquid or a solid? Or does that depend on you viewing it!!! I’ve even seen it argued that glass is it’s own state of matter???
Philip

I would agree (except for "supercool" which is a different thing).

Here again is where I see a distinct difference between "phase" of matter and "state" of matter. SInce glass changes from a "solid" to a "liquid" gradually, without going trough a latent heat phase change, then solid and liquid are words that don't properly apply to glass.

Yet glass behaves predictably and linearly throughout this range of temperatures, so it could be said to be in a certain "state" while its viscosity changes proportional to temperature.

Also, consider the gaseous atmospheres on the giant planets. At some point they are liquid but there is no definate surface of this liquid; the gas just becomes denser and denser. Here again the idea of "phase change" does not really apply.

You all forgot one!

Quark-gluon plasma. :-)