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Solids, liquids, and

gases are the three main, or fundamental phases of

matter. Each one has a different density and a

different level of stability. What determines the

stability of each phase is the bond between it’s

atoms. The tighter the bond between it’s atoms the

more stable that phase of matter is. Solids are the

most stable form of matter, followed by liquids,

and then gases. Solids have a definite shape and

do not take the shape of their container. Liquids

do not have any definite shape and do take the

shape of their container, the same is true with

gases. Once again it is the bond between the

atoms of liquids, and gases that make it have no

definite shape. The first phase of matter is solids.

Solids are the most stable form of matter. Solids

are more stable than liquids and gases. One type

of solid is a Crystalline solid. The particles in a

crystalline solid have a regular repeating pattern.

The types of crystalline solids are metals, alloys,

salts, valence crystals, molecular crystals,

polymers, and plastics. Most elementscrystalize as

metals. Some solids can also be frozen liquids.

The atoms in a solid are tightly bonded which

means it has a definiteshape. The second phase of

matter is liquids. Liquids have no definite shape.

Liquids are less orderly than solids but more

orderly than gases. Liquids can flow very easily.

Liquids also take the shape of their container.

Most liquids are very good conductors. Most

liquids are also good solvents. Some solids float in

liquids depending on their density. If the solid is

less dense than the liquid then it floats on the

liquids surface. If the solid is more dense than the

liquid then it sinks in the liquids. For example an

egg normally sinks in water because it’s density is

higher than water’s density. When you add salt to

the water the density of the water becomes higher

than the egg’s density so the egg floats. The third

and final fundamental phase of matter is gas.

Gases are the least orderly of the three phases of

matter. Gases take the shape of their container

because of the very weak bond between their

atoms. Gases are also very low in density. The

average gas is 1000 times less than that of the

average liquid. The volume of gas varies with

many things including temperature and pressure.

These are explained in Charles’s and Boyle’s laws.

Boyle’s law states that the volume of gas varies

indefinitely with the pressure applied to it.

Charles’s law states that the volume of gas varies

indefinitely with the temperature. Another theory is

the kinetic molecular theory. The kinetic molecular

theory states that any substance composed of

particles is in constant motion. This is especially

true with gases. Gases have been studied since

antiquity but were only understood in the 19th

century. These are the three fundamental phases of

matter. Every substance on earth is one of these

three phases. Some examples of solids are glass,

plastic, and wood. Some examples of liquids are

water, soft drinks, and acid. Some examples of

gases are oxygen, nitrogen, and helium.

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