What are the states of aggregation of matter?

What Does States of Matter Aggregation Mean

We explain what the aggregation states of matter are, how they can be classified and some characteristics of each one.

Matter can pass from one state of aggregation to another by altering its temperature and pressure.

What are the states of aggregation of matter?

When we talk about states of aggregation or phases of matter , we refer to the different phases or ways in which it is possible to find known matter ( pure substances or mixtures) and that depend on the type and intensity of the attractive forces between the particles. that make up said matter (such as atoms , molecules , etc.).

Four states of aggregation of matter are mainly known: the solid state , the liquid state , the gaseous state and the plasma state . There are also other less frequent ones, such as fermionic condensates, but these forms do not occur naturally in the environment .

Each of the states of aggregation has different physical characteristics , such as volume , fluidity or resistance , despite the fact that there is no real chemical difference between one state and another. For example, solid water (ice) and liquid water ( water ) are chemically identical.

Matter can be forced to move from one state of aggregation to another, just by altering its temperature and pressure . Thus, liquid water can be boiled to the gaseous state ( steam ) or it can be cooled enough to bring it to the solid state (ice).

These processes of transformation from one state of aggregation of matter to another are usually reversible, although not without a certain margin of loss of the substance. The best known processes are the following:

  • Evaporation . It is the process by which when introducing heat energy ( heat ), part of the mass of a liquid (not necessarily the entire mass) is transformed into gas.
  • Boiling or vaporization . It is the process by which when supplying heat energy, the entire mass of a liquid is transformed into a gas. The phase transition occurs when the temperature exceeds the boiling point of the liquid (temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid, therefore it becomes vapor).
  • Condensing . It is the process by which when removing heat energy, a gas is transformed into a liquid. This process is contrary to vaporization.
  • Liquefaction . It is the process by which when the pressure increases a lot, a gas is transformed into a liquid. In this process, the gas is also subjected to low temperatures, but what characterizes it is the high pressure to which the gas is subjected.
  • Solidification . It is the process by which when the pressure increases, a liquid can transform into a solid.
  • Freezing. It is the process by which when removing heat energy, a liquid turns into a solid. The phase transition occurs when the temperature takes values lower than the freezing point of the liquid (temperature at which the liquid solidifies).
  • Merger . It is the process by which by supplying heat energy (heat), a solid can be transformed into a liquid.
  • Sublimation . It is the process by which when supplying heat, a solid is transformed into a gas, without first going through the liquid state.
  • Reverse deposition or sublimation . It is the process by which when removing heat, a gas becomes a solid, without first going through the liquid state.

It can help you: Enthalpy

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