Study Guide

Solids, Liquids, and Gases Introduction

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Solids, Liquids, and Gases Introduction

All big things are built from smaller things. If we were to literally split hairs again and again, eventually we'd end up with single molecules made up of carbon and a bunch of other elements. If we were to cut up the molecules, we'd get to the really small stuff. Scientists call the smallest stuff an atom. Going backwards, atoms combine with other atoms to form molecules, and molecules combine with other molecules to form states of matter, which is where our story begins.

Matter behaves differently depending on whether it is part of the solid, liquid, or gas phase. The building blocks of matter are called particles and they can be atoms, molecules, or ions. These particles may be ordered or clumped, close together or far apart, moving faster than a cheetah or slower than a turtle. Matter has a way of keeping us on our toes by shape shifting and transforming right before our eyes. In this section, we'll examine the different states of matter and what happens when matter goes from one state to another.

Solids, Liquids, and Gases Resources


Nova States of Matter Thingamajig
This PBS Nova site has a nice interactive tool to virtually convert water, carbon dioxide, or hydrogen into their different states of matter. Because you never know when you'll want to turn a pencil into a diamond.

NASA States of Matter
Those guys and gals at NASA sure know what they're doing. On this website all things states of matter are explained. You're welcome.

Chem Professor Gas Laws
Still worried about breaking some all mighty gas laws? Don't fret. The Chem Professor has you covered.

NASA Animated Gas Lab
Haven't you ever wondered what goes on in an animated gas lab? It's not as stinky as you think. Once again, the peeps at NASA have done a great job breaking down some really tricky concepts.

PhET Simulation Lab
Here is another great simulation website. These simulations really help everyone understand how and why things in the world of chemistry work.

Colligative Properties for All
This website has a nice review of all the colligative properties complete with helpful animations. Chemistry is always better when there are cartoons.


Basic States of Matter Lesson Video
As the name suggests, this video provides a clear and simple introduction to the different states of matter.

Chemistry with Mr. Causey
Here is another introductory video covering the phases of matter. Clear, concise, and full of color—just the way we like it.

States of Matter Sing-a-Long
Yet another awesome review, except this time the whole lesson is set to catchy music.

Condensed Phases of Matter
This video is a lengthy lesson on the condensed phases of matter. It's totally worth the time. There are lots of visual demonstrations to go along with some of the more difficult concepts. This guy knows his stuff.

Adventures in Gas Laws
Join Marty the Marshmallow Man on his quest help everyone master all gas law concepts. No relation to the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man.

Gas Law Lessons
Need another review on all the crazy gas laws? This video provides a more serious review that can help everyone ace that next test.

Colligative Properties Video Review
This is a nice comprehensive review about the colligative properties of solution. Part two can be found here.

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