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Q & A: solids, liquids, and gases

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Most recent answer: 05/07/2009
Q:
We are studying solids, liquids and gases in science. I would like to know what material can be a solid, a liquid and a gas (not including water)?
- Megan Hill (age 10)
Arthur, Ontario, Canada
A:
Almost all materials can be solids, liquids, and gases at the right temperatures and pressures. For example, at ordinary (atmospheric) pressure, nitrogen (N2) is a gas at room temperature (around 295 K) but turns liquid at a temperature of 77 K (that's Kelvin, the absolute temperature scale.) It turns solid a little bit colder, around 63 K.Copper, which is of course solid at room temperature, melts at 1358 K and then boils (turns to a gas) at 2835 K. If you look at various other elements and compounds on Wikipedia, you can find the temperatures at which they melt and boil.

Mike W.

(published on 05/07/2009)

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