In our schools, we were taught that there are only 3 states of matter i.e. Solid, Liquid and gas. But Science is beyond our bookish knowledge and the total states of matter have reached to five with the addition of two i.e. Plasma and Bose Einstein Condensates. Lets study these states in further details:-


Plasma is not a common state of matter here on Earth, but may be the most common state of matter in the universe. Plasma consists of highly charged particles with extremely high kinetic energy. The noble gases(helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) are often used to make glowing signs by using electricity to ionize them to the plasma state. Stars are essentially superheated balls of plasma.

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Bose-Einstein Condensates

In 1995, technology enabled scientists to create a new state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Using a combination of lasers and magnets, Eric Cornell and Carl Weiman cooled a sample of rubidium to within a few degrees of absolute zero. At this extremely low temperature, molecular motion comes very close to stopping altogether. Since there is almost no kinetic energy being transferred from one atom to another, the atoms begin to clump together. There are no longer thousands of separate atoms, just one “super atom.” A BEC is used to study quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level. Light appears to slow down as it passes through a BEC, allowing study of the particle/wave paradox. A BEC also has many of the properties of a super fluid — flowing without friction. BECs are also used to simulate conditions that might apply in black holes.


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