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States of Matter

There are four common states of matter; solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

  Characteristics Particles
Solid Maintains its shape and volume. Particles closely packed together, and can vibrate but not move relative to each other.
Liquid Conforms to the shape of the container it's in.
Maintains its volume; almost incompressible.
Particles closely packed together, and can move relative to each other.
Gas Expands to fill available space.
Compressible.
Particles free to move around.
Typical distance between particles is much greater than particle size.
Plasma Expands to fill available volume.
Compressible.
Electrically conductive.
Particles free to move around.
Electrons have been ripped away from atoms, forming ions.

Changes of State