TECTechnics Classroom



Its All about Pj Problem Strings - 7 Spaces Of Interest and their associated Basic Sequences; 7 Pj Problems of Interest (PPI) and their Alleles (A)

Containership: States Of Matter As Expressions Of Pj Problems - Peter O. Sagay.

There are three basic states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. Plasma (formed when the particles in a gas gain an electronic charge) and Bose-Eistein Condensate (formed when special gases are cooled to extremely low temperatures) are other forms of matter. Matter expresses its states by expressing its containership.


A solid is hard and keeps a definite shape because its tiny particles are packed closely together. The motion of these particles are restricted only to vibrations in their alloted spaces (no movement over or around one another). This compactness is exemplified in crystalline solids where the particles that form the solid are arranged in a regular repeating pattern called a crystal (e.g sodium chloride, commom salt).


The particles of a liquid are not as closely packed together as those of a solid. So, they are less rigid in their respective spaces and have freedom of movement. Consequently, a liquid has no definite shape. It takes the shape of its container. However, a liquid has definite volume (the ratio of its mass to its density). This implies that it will occupy a space equal to its volume. So if the volume of the container is more than its volume, it will not fill up the container. If the volume of the container is less than its volume, it will overflow.

The freedom of movement of a liquid is basically expressed as a flow. The rate of flow of liquids vary. Liquids that flow slowly are viscous. The resistance of a liquid to flow is called viscosity (the slower the flow, the higher the viscosity). Some solids called Amorphous Solids do not have the cystalline structure. So, they are capable of slow flow. Consequently, they are sometimes called slow flowing liquids (e.g glass).


A gas has neither a definite shape nor a definite volume (it fills all available space in a container). This is because the freedom of movement of the particles of a gas is naturally unrestrained. However, humans have devised various ways by which they can closely pack the particles of a gas inorder to restrict their inclination to spread-out and in reverse, unpack the particles in order to allow the particles to spread-out. These processes are respectively called the compression and expansion of gases.

When a gas is in a container, its propensity for motion is not eliminated. In fact, the particles of a gas in a container are in consistent motion and can attain a speed of about 100 meters per sec. This motion causes numerous constant collisions of particles with one another and the walls of the container. Consequently, there is an outward push or pressure exerted by the gas that allows it to fill its container. If the pressure in the container becomes too great and there is no opposite and equal pressure to conatin the gas, it will blow out. The behaviour of a given volume of gas with respect to pressure and temperature is sumarized by the gas laws. The gas laws comprises Boyle's law which states that the volume of a fixed amount of gas varies inversely with the pressure of the gas and Charles law which states that the volume of a fixed amount of gas varies directly with the temperature of the gas.


Plasma is common in stellar spaces (e.g sun) and rare on earth. The reason is its very high energy state. Matter becomes plasma when it is heated to temperatures greater than 5000oC. The very high temperature causes violent collisions between particles such that electrons are dislodged from atoms. The coexistence of the electrons and positive ions as a whole unit constitute plasma. Plasma is electrically neutral despite its charged state. This is because it has the same number of negative and positive charges. The very high temperature of plasma implies that its charged particles are in very rapid motion. Consequently, it is a conducting fluid and has a magnetic field. This magnetic field can be influenced by electric and magnetic fields. The confinement of plasmas is based on the interaction between a shaped magnetic field and the magnetic field of plasma. In instances where it is found on Earth, the very high energy of plasma is contained by magnetic fields produced by powerful magnets.

Phase Change

A phase is a state in which matter can exist. So, solid, liquid, gas and plasma are phases of matter. Phase change is the change of matter from one phase to another. Consequently, a given matter can exist in more than one phase. For example, water exists in a solid phase as ice, in a liquid phase as liquid water and in a gas phase as steam. The phase change of matter is possible because the energy content of matter can be increased or decreased. The simpliest way to realize the increment or decrement of energy content of a substance is to heat or cool the substance.

Solids have less energy content than liquids which have less energy content than gases which have less energy content than plasmas. The phase change of a substance in the direction of increasing energy content requires the addition of heat and the subtraction of heat in the opposite direction. A phase change from solid to liquid is called melting and the temperature at which melting occurs is called the melting point of the substance. The reverse phase change from liquid to solid is called freezing and the temperature at which freezing occurs is called the freezing point of the substance. The melting point of a substance is equal to its freezing point.

A phase change from liquid to gas is called vaporization. If vaporization occurs at the surface of the liquid then the change is evaporation. The application of sufficient heat to a liquid such that internal particles of the liquid are able to vaporize is called boiling and the temperature at which boiling occurs is called the boiling point of the substance. The reverse phase change from gas to liquid is called condensation.