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Changes of State: Solids, Liquids, and Gasses - Windows to the Universe

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Water as a liquid, solid and gas.
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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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