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Vapor vs Gas, both containing solids

  1. Nov 17, 2009 #1
    I'm currently having a discussion with a guy that absolutely says that vapor and gas are the same thing, and they both contain solids, and thats how we see them. I suggested maybe the evaporated vapor that comes off gasoline as you pour it wouldnt have any solids in it, to which he said I'm an idiot blah, blah.

    Are vapor and gas the same thing?? Is it possible for either of them to be seen without any solids in them(he claims the only reason we can see a vapor/gas is because of the small particles in them that are reflecting light so we can see it)?

    I'm out of questions, not to mention the whole idiot thing kinda blew me away lol.

    If this is posted in the wrong place please forgive me, and just let me know where to post it.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2009 #2


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    I would just say that the instant he said "idiot" the conversation was over and there is no reason to worry about it! I have no idea what one could mean by saying there are "solids" in either a liquid or a gas. The four states of matter are "solid", "liquid", "gas", and "plasma". While it is possible for any of those to contain small amounts of another (of the same or different material) that doesn't have anything to do with the distinction between "gas" and "vapor". The "liquid" state of a material is a group of molecules of the material with very specific properties. The "gas" state must consist of separate molecules of the material. A "vapor" is small globules of the liquid state of a material suspended in air.
  4. Nov 18, 2009 #3
    cool, thanks very much for the info...I've tried repeatedly to explain there is a difference between Vapor and gas, but he just keeps with the argument of they are essentially the same as in order for either to be seen they have small solids in them, therefore they are the same, according to him.

    Thanks for the help.
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