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Water as a liquid, solid and gas.
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L.Gardiner/Windows to the Universe

Changes of State: Solids, Liquids, and Gases

A snowman, glass of water and steam might look very different but they are made of the same stuff! Just like any substance, water has three different forms, called states: solid, liquid and gas. The state will change when the substance is heated.

A snowman is made of snowflakes which are ice, the solid state of water. An ice crystal has a fixed volume and shape and is unable to flow.

When a snowman is heated, it turns into water, a liquid. As a liquid, water has a fixed volume, but its shape changes to fill the shape of its container.

When water is heated, it turns into a gas. As a gas, steam does not have a fixed volume or shape. It expands to fill the shape and volume of its container.

Last modified May 10, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA