Kitchen Chemistry: Sensational States

The chemistry behind solids, liquids and gas


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.

> Visit the Kitchen Chemistry Home
> Download the series as a free podcast from iTunes