MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What are the five states of matter?

Area: Chemistry
Posted By: Samuel Conway, Senior Staff Chemist, Avid Therapeutics,Philadelphia, PA
Date: Wed Oct 8 20:07:57 1997
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 874549258.Ch
When I was a boy, there were three states of matter.


Then people came up with a fourth state, called plasma.  This state
occurs at very high temperature, when all molecules break up into atoms,
and the atoms become ionized.

Recently, scientists have discovered the Bose-Einstein condensate, which
can be thought of as the opposite of a plasma.  It occurs at ultra-low
temperature, close to the point that the atoms are not moving at all.
This is being called the 5th state of matter.

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