Matter is defined as anything that occupies space and can be perceived by one or more senses; a physical body, a physical substance, or the universe as a whole. There are four distinct states of matter: solids, liquids, gases, and plasma. There are other states of matter such as Bose-Einstein condensates and neutron degenerate matter, but those states can only be found under extreme conditions.
These phases can go from one to another when affected by certain things, which is known as phase changes. To switch from a solid to a liquid, the solid must melt. On the other hand, to switch from a liquid to a solid, freezing must occur. Furthermore, to switch from a liquid to a gas, a process known as evaporation must take place. In contrast, to go from a gas to a liquid, condensation must take place. Furthermore, sublimation must take place for a solid to turn to a gas. Inversely, deposition must occur for a gas to change to a solid.
Melting takes place when a solid gets enough energy to melt. When it gets enough energy it is called the melting point. An example of melting would be snow turning into water. The reverse of the melting process is called freezing. Liquid water freezes and becomes solid ice when the molecules lose a lot of energy. When a solid goes to a gas and skips the liquid, sublimation occurs. The best example of sublimation would be dry ice. Deposition is when a gas goes directly to a solid without going through the liquid phase. An example of deposition is when water vapor turns to tiny crystals.
The four main states of matter can be organized by how fast there particles move. The slowest type will be solids. Solids particles are packed close and vibrate in place. The second slowest phase of matter is water. The particles of water touch , but they can move about more freely. The next form is gas. The particles of gas move at a very fast rate and never touch one another. Finally, there is plasma. The particles of plasma move at an exceptionally rapid rate ("Matter is the Stuff Around You"). The diagram of how the particles move is below.
Each phase of matter carries a unique set of characteristics which helps determine what state of matter a material or object belongs to. Solids have a definite volume and definite shape. The reason solids have a definite volume and shape is due to how closely packed the particles are together. The forces between the particles are so strong that do not allow the particles to move freely but to vibrate. Examples of solids are wood, bricks, and baseballs ("States of Matter").
One type of solid is crystalline solid. In a crystalline solid, the particles are in a repeating pattern. These patterns are known as crystal lattice structures. There are many types of lattice structures which include: cubic, hexagonal, triclinic, monoclinic, trigonal, orthorhombic, and tetragonal. An example of a crystalline solid is carbon. These solids have characteristics of geometrical shapes ("Properties of Matter")....