States of Matter

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. There are four widely known states of matter and a fifth that is less known.  The three most common are SOLIDS, LIQUIDS, AND GASES. The fourth is the PLASMA state. The fifth is the Bose-Einstein condensate, created in 1995.

Basic Characteristics

  • Solids– keep their shape, can be seen, and have a definite volume. Molecules have strong bonds.
  • Liquids– can usually be seen, has a definite volume, does not have a definite shape unless in a container. Molecules are close together, bonds holding them are weak so the molecules can move around more than in solids.
  • Gases– often invisible, does not have a definite shape or volume unless it is in a container. Molecules are far apart, lightly held together, and move around freely.
  • Plasma- occurs at very high temperatures. For example, if you heat water to about 1,500 degrees F it will become a plasma. It is too cold for most matter to reach the plasma state on Earth. Our sun and small stars are made of plasma. Lighting strikes are plasma and plasma glows when it conducts electricity in neon signs and fluorescent bulbs. The hottest candle flame is plasma.

Two sites to explore and take the quiz!

States of Matter Background

  1. Chem4Kids on States of Matter-
  2. The Phantom’s Portrait Parlor, Phases of Matter-
  3. Plasma Basics-
  4. BE Condensate-
  5. Phase Changes-

States of Matter- Interactives

  1. Explore the States of Matter up Close-
  2. BBC Solids and Liquids-
  3. Changing States of Water-
  4. Matter Sorter-
  5. Change It-
  6. Is it a Solid, Liquid, or Gas? Drag and Drop-
  7. Solids, Liquids, and Gases-
  8. Gases Around Us-
  9. Phet Interactive Simulation-

States of Matter Games

  1. McGraw Hill States of Matter Concentration-
  2. NEOK12- Quizzes, Videos, and More-
    1. Solids, Liquids, and Gases-
    2. States of Matter Quiz #1-
    3. Label the Diagram of States of Matter-
  3. Quia Games
    1. States of Matter Millionaire-
    2. States of Matter Jeopardy-
    3. The Three States of Matter-
    4. States of Matter Match-
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