The three states of matter

  steam from rice cooker:ch_st/steam.jpg
  Fig. 1-1 Steam coming up from a rice cooker

Have you ever used a rice cooker? When the rice is done, steam comes out continuously from the cooker. When water is heated to 100 in the cooker, it boils and changes into steam. If you put a piece of glass over the steam you may see mist forming on its surface. The steam changes back to liquid water on the cool glass surface. We say that the water undergoes changes of state, first from liquid to gas in the cooker, and then from gas to liquid on the glass surface.

The three states of matter we commonly encounter are solid, liquid and gas. For water, the three states are ice, water and steam. The change of matter from one state to another is called a change of state. The change of state from solid to liquid is called fusion and the reverse, i.e. from liquid to solid is called solidification. The change of state from liquid to gas is called vaporization and the reverse, i.e. from gas to liquid is called condensation.

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