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Matter exists in three different states, they are:

1. Solid
The solid state of matter is when the material has a definite volume or size and
distinct shape at a given temperature. At room temperature, a piece of iron at has a shape
and size that does not change. Ice is another solid, but its temperature must be below 0o C
(32o F). Most solid materials expand with increasing temperatures, but they retain their

2. Liquid
A liquid has a definite volume, but it takes the shape of its container with the help of
gravity. For example, Poured water into a cup or container, it will take the shape of that
container. If you put water in a balloon, the water will take the shape of the balloon, no
matter how you change the shape of the balloon.

3. Gas
The volume of a quantity of gas is dependent on its temperature and the surrounding
pressure. If affected by gravity, it will take the shape of its container, but much of it will
also spread out into the surrounding area.

When a substance changes from one state, or phase, of matter to another, we say that
it has undergone a change of phase. These changes of phase always occur with a change of
heat. Heat, which is energy, either comes into the material during a change of phase or heat
comes out of the material during this change. However, although the heat content of the
material changes, the temperature does not.
The table below summarizes the six changes of states that matter can undergo and
tells us if heat is added or removed for the change to take place.

Change From To Examples

Moth crystals disappear when

Sublimation solid gas or vapour
left in a closet for several days

Frost forms on a car's

Sublimation gas or vapour solid

Evaporation or Rain dries up when the sun

liquid gas
vapourization comes out

Melting solid liquid

An ice cube turns into water
when left out of the freezer

Freezing or Solidification liquid solid

A bottle of water will turn into

ice if left in the freezer

Drops of water form on the

Condensation gas or vapour liquid mirror when taking a hot

Physical Changes:

A physical change takes place without any changes in molecular composition. The
same element or compound is present before and after the change. The same molecule is
present through out the changes. Physical changes are related to physical properties since
some measurements require that changes be made.

Atoms in a liquid have more energy than the atoms in a solid. The easiest energy
available around is probably heat. Every substance has a certain temperature at which it
melts. It is called as its melting point. When a solid reaches the temperature of its melting
point, it changes to a liquid. For water the temperature has to be a little over zero degrees
Celsius. For salt, or sugar, the melting point would be higher than water.

Boiling Point: As the liquid matter is heated further it eventually boils or vaporizes
into a gas at the boiling point. Liquid water boils and changes into a gas, usually called
steam or water vapor at 100o C.

Freezing point, temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid. As with the melting
point, increased pressure usually raises the freezing point.
Cause of Changes:

• Energy. Energy is either lost or gained during a change of state.

• When energy is applied to a solid, the tightly packed particles of matter begin to
move around, flowing over each other. The result is the movement of liquid. The
shape becomes indefinite. The volume, however, does not change, because the
particles are still part of one another.
• When energy is applied to a liquid, the particles that make up a liquid, begin to
move about so rapidly, that they can no longer hold themselves together. The result
is the movement of a gas. The shape is indefinite, and the volume becomes
• The reverse happens to gas when energy is taken away. Water vapor, for example
begins to liquify as it cools. Remember the cool mornings when fog is dense and
close to the ground? What happens? Dewdrops form. The water vapors in the air
cool to form liquid drops on grass.
• When energy is taken away from liquid, the particles in the liquid slow down to low
movement. The resulting solid, has definite shape and definite volume.