We usually talk about three states Of the mattery:
- Solid. The particles are held together by strong attractive forces that prevent them from moving around. They have a constant shape and volume, although they can expand (increase in volume when heated) or contract (decrease in volume when cooled).
- Liquid. Particles are held together with slightly weaker forces than solids, so they can move around. They have constant volume. Their shape adapts to the container that contains them.
- Gases. The particles have almost no attractive forces that bind them together. They move quickly and in any direction. Its shape and volume adapts to the container that contains them.
In addition, there are two other states that are not commonly mentioned:
- Bose-Einstein Condensed State. It was first observed in 1955. They are gaseous superfluids cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero.
- Plasma state. Plasma is the state that certain substances reach at low temperatures and extremely high pressures. Under these circumstances, the impact between the electrons is very violent, causing them to separate from the nucleus. For instance: solar winds, lightning, northern lights.
That is to say that in the plasma there is a mixture of positive nuclei and free electrons. That is why it is a state in which the conduction of electricity is possible.
Examples of plasma state
- Sun. Like other stars, the sun is a plasma heated by nuclear fusion.
- Solar winds. Movements in the atmosphere of the sun.
- Nebulae. Made up of gases, mainly hydrogen and helium.
- TV or monitor screens. Plasma displays contain neon and xenon gases.
- Fluorescent tubes. Inside it is mercury vapor.
- Electric arc welding. It can be done under gas protection.
- Rockets. Rockets eject materials in a plasma state.
- Fusion reactors. Inside, matter is in a plasma state.
- Plasma lamps. Invented by Nikola Tesla to investigate high voltage.
- Lightning bolts. During a thunderstorm, we can observe the plasma state in lightning that looks like lightning bolts.
- Ionosphere. The part of the Earth’s atmosphere that lies between the mesosphere and the exosphere.
- Northern Lights. Luminescence that occurs in the night sky, usually in polar areas.