Lesson: Phases of Matter
In this lesson: phases of matter, we discuss the subtle truth of sublimation. Water is a special substance on planet Earth. It exists almost everywhere (Luna (our moon), Mars, Asteroids, Other Moons, Comets) but Earth is the only place we KNOW it exists in all three phases of matter.
Why We Call It Phases
Just like we have phases of the moon, or phases of growth, matter has pressurized phases that it goes through as well. These are Solid, Liquid, and Gas. Do not be fooled All Matter has three phases, some are just very different than water.
The change shift in the phases of matter are related to pressure. We have studied pressure here, but not the atomic changes that are taking place in the materials – like water. The atoms and molecules are acting in VERY specific ways, and we need to know how and why.
Why is this important?
Let’s return to our old friend, Water.
Water, also known as the “Universal Solvent” is an extraordinary substance and molecule. In every other molecule in the presence of low pressure (AKA cold) they all shrink and in high pressure (AKA hot) the expand. Water expands both when it freezes into a solid AND when it sublimates into a vapor.
DiHydrogen Monoxide (Water) is Deadly and Necessary
Ice is dangerous to life. And so is liquid water. And so is water vapor.
Fresh Water Is Rare
Why is this true and also why can’t we live without it again? This is true because water is usually the master at balance. Our planet has a LOT of water on it, but not as much as you think. AND only 1% of it is drinkable.
When we talk about water and the phases of matter, we need to think about this image. Look at that TINY dot of fresh water. The larger tiny dot is water vapor or ice at the poles. The rest is the shallow puddles we call the oceans.
Here at Mezzacello we get access to three kinds of water. Through the atmosphere (rain, snow, morning dew, and vapor), ground water — whatever water our municipality can provide, and evaporation systems that reuse water and recycle it when we can. That’s why it’s important to know the phases of matter so you can plan to capture that water!
That third option, recycling water, is COMPLETELY dependent on the phases of matter. For example if we took a bar of soap and place it in a solar evaporator, the heat would melt the soap and release the water into vapor, where it collects again as a liquid. That’s the power of using the phases of matter and how we can use it.
Run Ph tests on all three types of water.