The Controversial States of Matter
Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Hopefully, you are doing more than just taking up space (except you astronomy majors). Everything is made up of matter. Except, of course, non-matter, which is anything that does not take up space or have mass. Like light, energy, love, kindness, thoughts.
So, what’s the matter?
Solid. Liquid. Gas. Plasma. They are you, and you are them.
Solids have closely packed moving particles (your basic atoms and molecules) that organize with a definite shape, a definite mass, and a definite volume (size). Think a desk, bars of gold, a sneaker... you get the idea.
Liquids have loosely packed moving particles (your basic atoms and molecules, but further apart) that take on the shape of the container, but have a definite mass and a definite volume. Think water, cats, Galliano liquor. Good job!
Gases have moving particles that don’t know how to pack. They toodle around randomly until they evenly fill a container. If there is no container, there is no shape, but gas still has a definite mass. Think helium, air pollution, flatulence. Now you get it!
Plasma is everything else…figure it out. Or read this:
Funny Story Time: I was purchasing greens at grocery store. To prevent them bruising, I blew air into the plastic veggie bag before tying a knot. The cashier looked at my balloon-like bags of produce, planted her hands on her hips, and reproached me. “Are you trying to make them lighter?” she accused.
My Science mind was befuddled. What did she mean? Adding air (a gas) meant adding weight. I finally realized she (a) did not have a science mind, and (b) had not been my student, because if she had been my student, she would have realized adding air to my bags was shooting myself in the foot if I was trying to reduce my costs. Awkward, right?