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Where do 4 principal states of matter work together?

  1. Aug 7, 2012 #1
    speaking of solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, where in nature do these four states of matter interact to form a discrete system?

    the only example i know of, with my limited knowledge, is sun (plasma), earth (solid), sea (liquid), and sky (gas) ... all work together to form something like a "gaia" system which sustains biomass. this may be a bit too novel, i'm just wondering if there are places in nature where these four principal states of matter work together, perhaps in a type of cell, engine, or some astrophysical phenomena.

    strange question. I know this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    The solar system is not closed.
    I think you need to more closely define your terms ... as it stands, "the Universe" would fit your description of a discrete system where all states of matter "work together". Also "a type of cell or engine" is not usually thought of as a "place in nature" - though it handily opens the question to the possibility of engineering the situation you are asking about.

    you can get a solid-liquid-gas system in equilibrium (i.e. water at it's triple-point.)
    gas-plasma discharge tubes have a gas and plasma (+ electric field) working together ... add ice to the chamber and you have your condition.

    See? The question, as stated, is so vague there are probably infinite possibilities.
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