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List of states of matter: Wikis


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This is a list of the different states of matter. States of matter are generally distinguished by pressure and temperature conditions, transitioning to other phases as these conditions change to favor their existence; for example, freezing transitions to melting with an increase in temperature.

The list is ordered roughly in terms of increasing energy density.

Low-energy states

  • Quantum Hall state: A state that gives rise to quantized Hall voltage measured in the direction perpendicular to the current flow.
    • Quantum spin Hall state: a theoretical phase that may pave the way for the development of electronic devices that dissipate less energy and generate less heat. This is a derivation of the Quantum Hall state of matter.
    • Bose–Einstein condensate: a phase in which a large number of bosons all inhabit the same quantum state, in effect becoming one single wave/particle.
    • Fermionic condensate: Similar to the Bose-Einstein condensate but composed of fermions. The Pauli exclusion principle prevents fermions from entering the same quantum state, but a pair of fermions can behave as a boson, and multiple such pairs can then enter the same quantum state without restriction.
    • Superfluid: A phase achieved by a few cryogenic liquids at extreme temperature where they become able to flow without friction. A super fluid can flow up the side of an open container and down the outside. Placing a super fluid in a spinning container will result in quantized vortices.
    • Super solid: similar to a super fluid, a super solid is able to move without friction but retains a rigid shape.
  • Solid: A solid holds a rigid shape without a container.
    • Amorphous solid: A solid in which there is no long-range order of the positions of the atoms.
    • Crystalline solid: A solid in which the constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are packed in a regularly ordered, repeating pattern.
      • Plastic crystal: A molecular solid with long-range positional order but with constituent molecules retaining rotational freedom.
  • String-net liquid: Atoms in this state have apparently unstable arrangement, like a liquid, but are still consistent in overall pattern, like a solid.
  • Liquid: A mostly non-compressible fluid. Able to conform to the shape of its container but retaining a (nearly) constant volume independent of pressure.
    • Liquid crystal: Properties intermediate between liquids and crystals. Generally, able to flow like a liquid but exhibiting long-range order.
  • Gas: A compressible fluid. Not only will a gas conform to the shape of its container but it will also expand to fill the container.
  • Super critical fluid: At sufficiently high temperatures and pressures the distinction between liquid and gas disappears.
  • Plasma: free charged particles, usually in equal numbers, such as ions and electrons. Unlike gases, plasmas may self-generate magnetic fields and electric currents, and respond strongly and collectively to electromagnetic forces.
  • Degenerate matter: matter under very high pressure, supported by the Pauli exclusion principle.

Very high energy states

The gravitational singularity predicted by general relativity to exist at the centre of a black hole is not a phase of matter;[citation needed] it is not a material object at all (although the mass-energy of matter contributed to its creation) but rather a region which the known laws of physics are inadequate to describe.[citation needed]



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