Some introductory chemistry texts name solids liquids and gasses as the three states of matter but higher level texts recognize plasma as the fourth state of matter like a gas plasma can change its volume and shape but unlike a gas it can also change its electrical charge. There are many states of matter beyond solids liquids and gases including plasmas condensates superfluids supersolids and strange matter this module introduces kinetic molecular theory which explains how the energy of atoms and molecules results in different states of matter the module also explains the process of phase transitions in matter. Matter is the stuff of the universe there are five known phases or states of matter solids liquids gases plasma and bose einstein condensates. States of matter gases liquids and solids are all made up of microscopic particles but the behaviors of these particles differ in the three phases the following figure illustrates the microscopic differences microscopic view of a gas microscopic view of a liquid
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