Kitchen Chemistry: Sensational States

The chemistry behind solids, liquids and gas

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IceYou know what ice is, right? Maybe you have some ice cubes in your freezer.

When ice gets warmer, it melts and you get water – like the stuff in your tap. And what do you get when water gets even hotter and boils?

That’s right, steam!

SteamSo here’s the cool thing: Ice, running water and steam are all the same chemical – H2O. It’s just in different states – solid, liquid and gas.

And here’s an even cooler thing – ANY chemical can be a solid, liquid or gas. It’s heat and pressure which make them change.

There’s so much heat energy in boiling water – it makes the molecules bounce around like ping pong balls! How much heat is needed to make a substance change depends on what it is.

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