Introduction: Understanding the Fourth and Fifth State of Matter!!!

About: An Indian innovator who was awarded with the title of Time magazine 2006's person of the year and loves creating new and amazing stuff just for the sake of fun. Stay tuned for crazy experiments, creations and…

Matter, the most common thing we see around us. Everyone of you might be aware of the three common states of matter which we see in our everyday life - Solid, Liquid and Gas (As depicted in the image above). But do you know that there actually exists seven states of matter, yes!! , SEVEN!!!! Many of you might know of it..... Many of you may not..So, for those who do not know about the fourth and fifth state of matter, I am going to explain it in the simplest and most elaborate way possible..

(P.S The sixth and seventh states of matter are pretty complex. I will explain those later in any other instructable if you want. Let me know in the comments...)

Step 1: Understanding Matter...

Here are a few basic pointers to describe matter:-
• Matter is made up of small particles which can exist independently and are known as molecules.
• Molecules of matter posses kinetic energy and are always in motion. Molecules keep absorbing kinetic energy from their surroundings.
• There exists intermolecular force between the molecules of matter which binds the molecules of matter together
This force is most in solids, mediocre in liquids and negligible in gases.
• There also exists intermolecular spaces between the molecules of matter.
• By applying pressure and reducing temperature we can liquefy atmospheric gases.

Step 2: PLASMA......

Ahhhhhhh, Plasma. I don't know why, but I just love plasma. It looks cool, it sounds cool and IT IS COOL!! What is plasma you ask?? Well, it is the fourth state of matter (obviously..) which consists of super energetic and super excited particles which are in form of ionised gases. Inside a container, in which there is a gas capable of forming plasma, when electrical energy is passed through, The gas gets ionised, that is, gets charged by it. This charging up creates a plasma glowing inside the container. The plasma glows with a special colour depending on the gas inside the container. Like gases, plasmas do not have definite shape or volume. Also, plasmas are electrically conductive, produce magnetic fields and electric currents, and respond strongly to electromagnetic forces.

The sun actually formed and ignited because of being made up of Plasma.(More on that in some other instructable... Let me know in the comments if you want it too). The lightning that occurs during a storm is also plasma. Plasma TV's are also very common these days. A plasma ball is also a good way of observing plasma.


This one is really interesting. In 1920's, two of the most greatest scientists who ever existed, Albert Einstein and Satyendranath Bose did calculations for the fifth state of matter and named it 'The Bose Einstein Condensate' Or BEC for short. In 1994 Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman were successful in achieving the Bose Einstein condensate and even won the Nobel Prize in physics for it. The Bose Einstein Condensate. If atoms of a plasma are super hot and super excited particles, atoms in a Bose Einstein condensate (BEC) are totally opposite. They are super cold and unexcited atoms.

The BEC happens at super low temperatures. At zero Kelvin (absolute zero) all molecular motion stops. Scientists have figured out a way to get a temperature only a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero. When temperatures get that low, you can create a BEC with a few special elements. Cornell and Weiman did it with rubidium(Rb).When you get to a temperature near absolute zero, something amazing happens. Atoms begin to clump i.e, the begin to form a cluster. The whole process happens at temperatures within a few billionths of a degree, so this isn't something you can see at home. When the temperature becomes that low, the atomic parts can't move at all. They lose almost all of their energy. 

Since there is no more energy to transfer (as in solids or liquids), all of the atoms have exactly the same levels, like twins. The result of this clumping is the BEC. The group of rubidium atoms sits in the same place, creating a "super atom." There are no longer thousands of separate atoms. They all take on the same qualities and, for our purposes, become one blob. 

Source: My brain and the knowledge inside it.

Step 4: Any Questions??

If you have trouble understanding anything, or want to request an instructable on any topic in science or quantum physics, feel free to do so. I'll be sure to answer your query and if the topic you suggest holds some potential, I'll be sure to post an instructable on it. Also, please let me know of how you felt about this Instructable. If you find a mistake anywhere in this Instructables , kindly notify me of it, I will be sure to correct it.

Also, being a ninth grader, my exams are starting next week. So, my next instructable will be posted about two weeks later on an even better topic. Stay tuned for the same. I'll be sure to answer any queries in the meantime.

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