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Phase Changes. What are Some Characteristics of Solids?. Have a fixed shape and volume in this state. Not easily compressible because there is very little space between particles. Does not flow because the particles are held rigidly. What are Some Characteristics of Liquids?.

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What are some characteristics of solids
What are Some Characteristics of Solids?

  • Have a fixed shape and volume in this state.

  • Not easily compressible because there is very little space between particles.

  • Does not flow because the particles are held rigidly.

What are some characteristics of liquids
What are Some Characteristics of Liquids?

  • Assumes shape of the container it is in because particles have room to move or slide past one another.

  • Not easily compressible for there isn’t enough free space between particles.

Phase changes

What are Some Characteristics of Gases?

Assumes shape and volume of container.


Flows Easily.

Solids to liquids

Solids to Liquids

Examples from Around the House

Anything can melt
Anything can melt!

  • …if you get it hot enough, that is.

  • Even solid rock can melt, and when it does, it becomes lava!

  • When something is completely melted, it is called “molten”, hence the phrase “molten lava”.

How hot does something need to be to melt
How hot does something need to be to melt?

  • Everything has a different melting point, the temperature at which a solid becomes a liquid.

  • Let’s look into this; we’ll start with something easy…

Phase changes

  • Do you know what temperature ice melts into water?

    • 32 degrees F, or 0 degrees C

  • Since the human body is much warmer than ice, if you hold it, it melts!




  • Chocolate melts when you hold it because its melting point is just a few degrees below average human body temperature.


  • If you heat sugar (and a few other things) to really high temperatures, past sugar’s melting point, when it cools back down, it will reform into caramel.

Learning quiz

  • What sorts of things can melt?

  • What do you call something when it is completely melted?

  • What temperature does ice melt into water at?

  • Why does chocolate melt when you hold it?

Phase changes


  • This is when a liquid, let’s say water, is heated past its boiling point (100°C or 212°F), then that energy breaks down the bonds that hold each water molecule together. So, those water molecules escape and become gas.

Phase changes

Gas to liquid
Gas to Liquid

Phase changes


  • This is a change from the gas to a liquid. This happens when vapor is cooled enough to become liquid or when it is put under enough pressure. We are going to focus on vapor cooling. For example, on a hot summer day water vapor is cooled on the sides of a cold water bottle enough to condense and make the bottle “sweat”.

Phase changes

Courtesy of:

Liquid to gas gas to liquid quiz
Liquid to Gas & Gas to Liquid

  • What is the scientific name for the change from liquid to gas?

  • Why did the balloon expand?

  • What phase change does the example of the bottle sweating show?

  • Why does the balloon become smaller in the second experiment?

  • How does temperature play a role in the evaporation and condensation phase?

Gas expansion

Gas Expansion

Gas Expansion

Gas Expansion

Temperature and gas volume
Temperature and Gas Volume

  • As a gas is heated the particles of that as will grow further apart

  • As a gas is cooled the particles of that gas will become closer together

  • This is because heat is a type of energy

    • As the gas is heated the energy is transferred into the particles and they start to move around move quickly

    • As the particles are heated move more quickly they spread out so that they do not bump into each other

    • As particles cool down they will come closer together

Temperature and the weight of a gas
Temperature and the Weight of a gas

  • When gas heats up it spreads out so that there are fewer particles in a given volume, and when gas cools down it shrinks up so that there are more particles in a given volume

    • This is called a change in density, which means which means a change in the amount of a substance in a given space(volume)

  • If something has a high density it will weigh more than something with a low density

    • This is because there is simply more stuff is the same amount of space

  • This is how hot air balloons work!

    • The hot air inside the balloon is lighter than the air around it so it floats

Learning quiz gas expansion
Learning Quiz – Gas Expansion

  • If you heat a gas does it get smaller or larger?

    • Why is this?

  • Which will be heavier? Cold air or hot air?

    • What is the difference between cold air and hot air that causes one to weigh more?

  • What is the hottest a steam can get?

    • Why is this important?

    • Is this the same for all gasses?

  • How cold can steam get before it turns into a liquid?