Matter and its State

Matter and its State

Table of Contents

Introduction of Matter

What is Matter?

Imagine everything you can see and touch around you – tables, chairs, phones, even yourself! All these things are made up of stuff called matter. In simpler terms, matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

  • Mass refers to how much “stuff” something has. Think of it like how heavy or light an object feels.
  • Space refers to the area something occupies. No matter how small, it fills a tiny bit of space.

Why is Matter Important?

Matter is like the alphabet of the universe. Everything we see, from giant stars to tiny grains of sand, is built from different combinations of matter. By understanding matter, we can understand how the universe works, how stars shine, and even how life itself exists!

States of Matter

Matter can exist in several states, each characterized by its physical properties, behavior, and energy. The primary states of matter are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Let’s explore each of these states in more detail:


Solids have a definite shape and volume. The particles in a solid are closely packed together and vibrate in fixed positions.

Solid Liquid Gas Images – Browse 8,416 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock


  • Incompressibility: Solids are difficult to compress due to the close arrangement of particles.
  • Rigidity: Solids are rigid and do not flow like liquids.
  • Melting Point: Solids have a specific melting point at which they transition to a liquid state.


Liquids have a definite volume but no definite shape. They take the shape of their container.


  • Fluidity: Liquids flow and can be poured.
  • Incompressibility: Like solids, liquids are also incompressible but to a lesser extent.
  • Surface Tension: Liquids have a surface tension due to the cohesive forces between molecules.


Gases have neither a definite shape nor a definite volume. They expand to fill their container completely.


  • Compressibility: Gases can be easily compressed due to the large spaces between particles.
  • Diffusion: Gases mix readily with one another.
  • Expansion: Gases expand when heated and contract when cooled at constant pressure.


Plasma is often considered the fourth state of matter. It consists of ionized gas particles, meaning it contains free electrons and positive ions.

The Science of Plasma - Advanced Plasma Solutions


  • Conductivity: Plasma can conduct electricity due to the presence of free electrons.
  • Reactivity: Plasma can be reactive and can interact with electromagnetic fields.
  • Luminescence: Plasma emits light, which is why it’s often observed in phenomena like neon signs and certain types of lights.

Properties of Matter

Physical Properties- Definition, Physical Properties And, 51% OFF


What is Mass? – Eschooltoday

  • Amount of matter in an object.
  • Measurement in kilograms (kg) or grams (g).
  • Determines an object’s weight due to gravity.


Volume Formulas | List of Volume Formulas You Should Know - BYJUS

  • Definition: Space occupied by an object or substance.
  • Measurement: In cubic meters (m³), liters (L), or cubic centimeters (cm³).
  • Importance: Helps determine container capacity and understand gas behavior.


Density of matters science experiment 7002574 Vector Art at Vecteezy

Measure of mass per unit volume.

    • Calculation:
    • Units: is kg/m³ or g/cm³.
    • Indicates substance compactness; higher densities sink, lower densities float.

Other Physical Properties

  • Melting Point: Temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid.
  • Boiling Point: Temperature at which a liquid turns into a gas.
  • Solubility: Ability of a substance to dissolve in a solvent.
  • Conductivity: Ability of a substance to transmit electricity or heat.
  • Malleability: Ability of a substance to be shaped without breaking.

Changes in State of Matter

Matter: Anything that has mass and takes up space.

States of Matter: Forms in which matter exists – mainly solid, liquid, and gas.


In which of the following processes does the change in state of matter  involve loss of heat?

  • Solid to Liquid transition.
  • Heat is added to break intermolecular bonds.
  • Example: Ice melting to water.


What is Freezing? - GeeksforGeeks

  • Liquid to Solid transition.
  • Heat is removed causing molecules to slow down and bond together.
  • Example: Water freezing to ice.


Evaporating - Key Stage Wiki


  • Liquid to Gas transition at room temperature.
  • Heat is added, increasing molecular motion until they escape as vapor.
  • Example: Puddles drying up on a sunny day.


Condensing - Key Stage Wiki

  • Gas to Liquid transition.
  • Heat is removed, causing gas molecules to slow down and form liquid droplets.
  • Example: Steam from hot shower turning into water droplets on a cold mirror.

Key Points

  • Changes between states depend on heat and molecular movement.
  • These changes are reversible with the right conditions.

Kinetic Theory of Matter

Describes the fundamental idea that matter is composed of tiny particles.

Emphasizes that these particles are constantly in motion.

The Kinetic Molecular Theory of Matter | Introduction to Chemistry

Key Points

  • Particle Nature: Matter consists of particles.
  • Constant Motion: These particles are always moving.
  • Random Motion: Particle movement is random and in all directions.
  • Temperature Impact: Higher temperatures mean faster particle motion, and vice versa.
  • States of Matter: The theory helps explain the different states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) based on particle motion and arrangement.

Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

BEC is the fifth state of matter, distinct from solids, liquids, gases, and plasma.

  • It is formed when atoms of certain elements are cooled to near absolute zero (-273.15°C or 0 Kelvin).
  • At this extremely low temperature, the atoms lose their individual identities and behave as a single entity.


  • Superfluidity: BEC exhibits superfluidity, meaning it flows without friction. If stirred, it will continue to move indefinitely.
  • Quantum Effects: At BEC temperatures, quantum effects become dominant and the wave-like nature of particles becomes evident.
  • Monolithic Behavior: All atoms in BEC occupy the same quantum state, giving them identical properties and behaving as a single superatom.


  • Precision Measurements: Used in atomic clocks and quantum sensors due to its predictable behavior.
  • Quantum Computing: Potential applications in quantum information processing due to its ability to maintain quantum coherence for longer periods.
  • Interferometry: Utilized in high-precision measurement techniques.

Applications of Matter and its States

Here are the applications of understanding matter and its states in various fields, explained in points for clarity:

  • Chemical Reactions: Understanding the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) is crucial for predicting and controlling chemical reactions.
  • Thermodynamics: Understanding matter’s states is fundamental in thermodynamics, which studies energy transfer and transformations.
  • Material Science: Engineers utilize knowledge of matter’s states to develop new materials with specific properties for various applications.
  • Fluid Mechanics: Understanding the states of matter is crucial for analyzing and designing systems involving fluids, such as pumps, turbines, and hydraulic systems.
  • Heat Transfer: Engineers use knowledge of thermal properties of matter to design efficient heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems.
  • Climate Change: Understanding the states of matter in the atmosphere (like water vapor, liquid water, and ice) is essential for studying climate change and predicting weather patterns.
  • Pollution Control: Knowledge of matter’s states helps in developing methods to monitor and control pollutants in air, water, and soil.
  • Drug Development: Understanding the states of matter is vital for formulating drugs with optimal solubility and bioavailability.
  • Physiology: In biological systems, understanding the states of matter (e.g., liquid in cells, gases in lungs) helps in studying physiological processes and diseases.


Understanding matter and its states is foundational to a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines. Whether it’s predicting chemical reactions in chemistry, explaining energy transformations in physics, or designing innovative materials in engineering, the knowledge of matter’s states serves as a cornerstone for innovation and problem-solving.

Furthermore, in fields like environmental science and medicine, this understanding is crucial for addressing global challenges such as climate change and disease.


Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. It’s the “stuff” that makes up everything in the universe, from tiny grains of sand to giant planets.

There are five main states of matter:

  • Solid: Has a definite shape and volume. Particles are tightly packed and vibrate in place. (e.g., ice, rock)
  • Liquid: Has a definite volume but takes the shape of its container. Particles are close together but can move around. (e.g., water, oil)
  • Gas: Has no definite shape or volume and fills its container completely. Particles are far apart and move freely at high speeds. (e.g., air, helium)
  • Plasma: Very hot, energetic gas where some atoms have lost electrons, creating charged particles. Often found in stars and neon signs.
  • Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC): An exotic state of matter achieved at extremely low temperatures. Particles clump together and exhibit strange quantum properties. Not encountered in everyday life.

The state of matter depends on the arrangement and motion of its particles. In solids, particles are tightly packed with minimal movement. Liquids have more loosely packed particles with some freedom to move. Gases have the most space between particles, allowing them to move freely. Temperature and pressure can also influence the state of matter.

Yes! Matter can change states through processes like heating, cooling, or pressurization. For example, ice (solid) melts into water (liquid) when heated, and water vapor (gas) condenses into water droplets (liquid) when cooled.

  • Water boiling: Liquid water changes to water vapor (gas) when heated.
  • Ice melting: Solid ice changes to liquid water when heated.
  • Fog forming: Water vapor condenses from the air (gas) to form tiny liquid water droplets (fog).
  • Sublimation: Solid dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) changes directly to gas (carbon dioxide) without melting.

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1. Which state of matter has a definite shape and volume?

  • A. Gas
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Solid
  • D. Plasma

Answer: C. Solid

2. What happens to a liquid when it is cooled below its freezing point?

  • A. It expands
  • B. It vaporizes
  • C. It solidifies
  • D. It remains unchanged

Answer: C. It solidifies

3. Which state of matter takes the shape of its container and has no definite volume?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Gas
  • C. Liquid
  • D. Plasma

Answer: B. Gas

4. What is the process called when a gas changes to a liquid?

  • A. Evaporation
  • B. Sublimation
  • C. Condensation
  • D. Freezing

Answer: C. Condensation

5. Which state of matter has particles that are tightly packed together but can move around each other?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Gas
  • D. Plasma

Answer: B. Liquid

6. The process of a solid changing directly to a gas without passing through the liquid state is called:

  • A. Condensation
  • B. Evaporation
  • C. Sublimation
  • D. Melting

Answer: C. Sublimation

7. What is the boiling point of water at sea level?

  • A. 0°C
  • B. 100°C
  • C. 212°F
  • D. Both B and C

Answer: D. Both B and C

8. Which of the following is not a state of matter?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Gas
  • C. Liquid
  • D. Light

Answer: D. Light

9. What causes matter to change state?

  • A. Temperature
  • B. Pressure
  • C. Both A and B
  • D. Neither A nor B

Answer: C. Both A and B

10. Which state of matter has no definite shape or volume?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Gas
  • D. Plasma

Answer: D. Plasma

11. What is the process of a liquid changing to a gas at its surface called?

  • A. Condensation
  • B. Sublimation
  • C. Evaporation
  • D. Freezing

Answer: C. Evaporation

12. Which state of matter has the highest energy level?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Gas
  • D. Plasma

Answer: D. Plasma

13. The volume of a gas is affected by changes in:

  • A. Temperature only
  • B. Pressure only
  • C. Both temperature and pressure
  • D. Neither temperature nor pressure

Answer: C. Both temperature and pressure

14. What is the process of a gas changing directly to a solid called?

  • A. Condensation
  • B. Evaporation
  • C. Sublimation
  • D. Deposition

Answer: D. Deposition

15. Which state of matter has the lowest density?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Gas
  • D. Plasma

Answer: C. Gas

16. The particles in a gas are:

  • A. Close together and arranged in a regular pattern
  • B. Close together but can move past each other
  • C. Far apart and move randomly
  • D. Tightly packed and vibrate in place

Answer: C. Far apart and move randomly

17. What is the process of a solid changing to a liquid called?

  • A. Evaporation
  • B. Melting
  • C. Sublimation
  • D. Condensation

Answer: B. Melting

18. What state of matter is most commonly found in stars?

  • A. Solid
  • B. Liquid
  • C. Gas
  • D. Plasma

Answer: D. Plasma

19. The melting point of a substance is the same as its:

  • A. Boiling point
  • B. Freezing point
  • C. Condensation point
  • D. Sublimation point

Answer: B. Freezing point

20. What causes the particles in a substance to move faster and spread out more?

  • A. Decrease in temperature
  • B. Increase in pressure
  • C. Increase in temperature
  • D. Decrease in pressure

Answer: C. Increase in temperature

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