> The plasma state is the fourth state of matter: heating a solid
> makes a liquid, heating a liquid makes a gas, heating a gas makes a
> plasma. I'm sure that you know that.
How many phase states of matter are there? Most people know about the Big
Three, and occasionally, will throw in plasma as number four. If you look
at chemical phase diagrams though, there are at least one or two more, as
these usually also include an axis for pressure.
Supercritical Fluid is a distinct phase of matter that, while most chemists
are aware of it (it is pretty wild from a chemical process standpoint),
most lay people haven't heard of it. Nonetheless, it is an extraordinarily
useful state for several industrial chemical processes (e.g.
decaffeinating coffee without organic solvents) and allows many processes
that would be impossible in "normal" phase states.
Bose-Einstein Condensate? I don't know if this qualifies as a distinct
phase state of matter, but I'll bet someone on this list knows if it is.
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