Name: Ch'ng Yit Seong
Number Matric: 20102040442
Topic: Matter

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Changing States of Matter

 All matter can move from one state to another. It may require very low temperatures or very high pressures, but it can be done. Phase changes happen when certain points are reached. Sometimes a liquid wants to become a solid. Scientists use something called a freezing point to measure when that liquid turns into a solid. There are physical effects that can change the freezing point. Pressure is one of those effects. When the pressure surrounding a substance goes up, the freezing point also goes up. That means it's easier to freeze the substance at higher pressures. When it gets colder, most solids shrink in size. There are a few which expand but most shrink.

Now you're a solid. You're a cube of ice sitting on a counter. You dream of becoming liquid water. You need some energy. Atoms in a liquid have more energy than the atoms in a solid. The easiest energy around is probably heat. There is a magic temperature for every substance called the melting point. When a solid reaches the temperature of its melting point it can become a liquid. For water the temperature has to be a little over zero degrees Celsius. If you were salt, sugar, or wood your melting point would be higher than water.

The reverse is true if you are a gas. You need to lose some energy from your very excited gas atoms. The easy answer is to lower the surrounding temperature. When the temperature drops, energy will be sucked out of your gas atoms. When you reach the temperature of the condensation point, you become a liquid. If you were the steam of a boiling pot of water and you hit the wall, the wall would be so cool that you would quickly become a liquid.

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