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Subject knowledge: Solids, liquids and gases

What comes to mind when we think of the terms solid, liquid and gas? It is important to understand that these are not types of materials, but states in which substances can exist. Any substance can theoretically exist in any of these three states and this is governed by the attraction that the particles within the substance have for each other. This will be covered in the next step about the particle model.

Often it is easy to think of the three states of matter that water takes: solid (ice), liquid (liquid water) and gas (water vapour). It is fairly easy to demonstrate these states in the classroom.


Before we look at the ‘particle model’ in the next step, have a go at drawing the three states of matter as particles.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry

National STEM Learning Centre