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States of Matter

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Matter is everything that takes up space and has mass.

Everything around you is matter: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat. They are all matter. But, they are all different kinds of matter.

The air you breathe is a gas. It floats all around you.

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The water you drink is a liquid. It flows smoothly down your throat.

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The plate that holds your food is a solid. You can hold it in your hands.

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Solids, liquids, and gases are the different states of matter.

Some things can easily change states.

Water is a liquid.

If you freeze it, it becomes ice, a solid.

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If you boil it, it becomes water vapor, a gas.

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SOLIDS

Solids have shapes.

A book is a solid in the shape of a rectangle. A ball is a solid in the shape of a circle.

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Solids are made of little pieces called particles.

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They are packed closely together.

They can't move across each other, or float away into space.

They can be hard like a block or soft like a blanket.

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They can be heavy like a boulder or light like feather.

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They can be hot like a pizza or cold like an icicle.

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LIQUIDS

Liquids do not have a shape. They take the shape of the container they're in.

Water can fill a round bowl.

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It can fill a square pan.

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Or it can fill a tall glass.

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Liquids are also made of little pieces called particles.

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The particles of a liquid are held together loosely.

They move and slide across each other.

When you pour water, it flows into a container. It's not like a solid.

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Solids tumble and bang into each other.

Liquids are soft, and not hard.

They can be hot, like a mug of hot chocolate.

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They can be cold, like a cold glass of lemonade.

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GASES

Gas particles are not held together.

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They float away and fill up the space they're in.

Gases can be light or heavy.

A gas called helium is lighter than air. That's why a helium balloon stays up!

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Gases can be hot or cold.

When you're outside on a winter day, you can feel the cold air.

When you come inside, you can feel the warm air

PLASMA

There is another state of matter called plasma.

Plasma is a gas that has been heated.

It becomes charged with energy.

Example

The sun and the stars are made of plasma.

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Plasma is seen on earth in flames and in lightning.

It can also be made and used by people.

We use it to light up neon signs.

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GLOSSARY
Matter:
everything that takes up space
States of Matter:
the different forms that matter can take
Particles:
the little pieces that make up solids, liquids, and gases
Gas:
matter that has particles that are not held together.
They float away. Gases fill up whatever space they're in.
Liquid:
matter that has particles which are held together loosely.
They flow and pour. Liquids take the shape of the container they're in.
Solid:
matter that has particles which are held together tightly.
They don't move. Solids have their own shape.
Plasma:
a gas that has been heated and becomes charged with energy.
Summary
  • Matter is all around us. It's everything that takes up space and has mass.
  • There are different states of matter. They are solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Statesofmatter22

  • Solid particles are held together closely. They have a shape.
  • Liquids particles are held together loosely. They don't have a shape.
  • Gases are not held together. They float away.
  • Matter can change states. Water can change to a solid (ice). It can change to a gas (water vapor).
  • Plasma is a gas that has been heated and becomes charged with energy.
Activity

*Ask an adult to do these with you.

 

A. In your kitchen and/or bathroom, find 3 solids, 3 liquids, and 3 gases.

 

B. Identify parts of your body as solids, liquids, and gases.

 

C. Explore solids!

 

Find a solid object and examine it. Try to answer these questions:


  • What shape is it? Does it have several shapes?
  • What color is it? Is there more than one color?
  • Is it heavy or light?
  • Is it hard or soft?
  • Is it hot or cold?
  • What makes it different from a liquid?
  • How is it different from a gas?
 

D. Experiment with a liquid!

 
  • Pour water into a glass to watch it behave as a liquid. Pour it into different shaped containers and see if it takes those shapes. Can you hold water in your hand? What else can you do with it?
  • Boil water and watch it turn into water vapor. How long does it take to boil?
  • Put water into a container and place it in the refrigerator to see it freeze. How long does it take to freeze?
  • Leave an ice cube out in a bowl. How long does it take to melt?
 

E. Experiment with a gas!

 

What you need:

 
  • a package of Pop Rocks candy
  • a small bottle of soda (unopened)
  • a balloon
 

What you do:


  • Pour the Pop Rocks into the balloon. Using a small funnel will help.
  • Open the soda bottle.
  • Carefully-without spilling the candy out-put the opening of the balloon over the opening of the soda bottle.
  • Lift the top of the balloon up and shake gently so that the candy falls into the bottle.
 

What happens:


  • The soda has a gas in it (carbon dioxide).
  • The candy contains the same gas!
  • The gases combine and start to escape.
  • Since gas likes to move around and fill up spaces, it goes up into the balloon and inflates it.
 

F. Play the "solid, liquid, and gas" game. (Requires 3 or more people).


  • When the leader calls out "solid," all get close together.
  • When the leader calls out liquid, all separate to "handshake" distance, and briefly take and drop each other's hands.
  • When the leader calls out "gas," all move randomly away from each other.
  • The leader gets faster to see if the players can keep up!

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