__Kinetic Theory of Matter__

Thuong Vu Physical Science January 31, 2008

The Kinetic Theory of Matter is a reasonable explanation...

...that states that matter is composed of small particles in random motion. When the temperature of matter increases, its movements also increase.

Firstly, what is matter? Matter is what all physical objects are made of. All matter takes up space. There are four states of matter that people are most familiar with: solids, liquids, gases, and plasma.

Solids are atoms and molecules (particles) that are so closely packed together that they form a specific shape and volume. They are so close together and stay together so strongly that they are able to maintain their shape. They also move! There are little vibrations that we do not realize because they are so compacted and small. Examples of solids can be a bar of gold, your pencil, your desk, and things of the sort.

Liquids are particles that are a little less closer than what solids are and have enough energy to move around a little. Because they are close enough, their forces allow them to form the shape of what holds them while they can also move around—or specifically, flow about. Just think of a glass of water. Water poured into a glass form the shape of that glass. It will flow if you give energy to it. That energy can be your shaking of the glass. Examples of liquids can be the ocean, juice, blood, and things of the sort.

Gases have no definite volume or shape and are particles with a larger separation between each other. They do not have any forces. The average distance between these particles are usually 10 times greater than in solids and liquids. That lets particles move freely within its space. When it is enclosed, pressure is forced onto its surroundings—just like how a balloon expands. It's all because of pressure. Examples of gases include oxygen, water vapor, clouds, helium, and things of the sort.

Plasma are like gases but differ because they are ionized which lets them carry electrical currents and generate magnetic fields. They are the most common form of matter. The universe, as far as our knowledge have shown, is made up of more than 99% of plasma! Examples are the sun, stars, lightning, and things of the sort.

Energy and temperature (heat) go together because they're basically the same thing. Energy is a very strong factor. With energy you can can break things apart. With energy you can even change the state of matter. How is it possible? CHANGING STATES AND COMPOSITION OF MATTER

Through sublimation solids can change to gases. Take dry ice for example. When its force that keeps them close together is strong, it stays a solid. But when too much there is too much energy and there particles start moving, they lose their grasp. Particles start to loosen up and they soon become a gas.

Through evaporation liquids become a gas. Take lake waters for example. With the bright sun, some of that water will turn into water vapor—they evaporate. And what do you know? Water vapor is a gas!

Through condensation gases turn back into a liquid! An example can be a glass of cold water on a hot day. The water vapor from the warm air touches the cold glass and becomes, once again, a liquid.

Gases can become a plasma when they release electrons—which then produces more energy. That is called ionization. When they recombine, it's called recombination.

Energy, also temperature, is the main factor of this theory. Because of energy, matter can move and can change its state. Sublimation, evaporation, condensation, ionization, recombination, and many other processes can change matter because of their energy.

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