phases of matter

Cultural Dictionary

phases of matter definition


The states in which matter can exist: as a solid, liquid, or gas. When temperature changes, matter can undergo a phase change, shifting from one form to another. Examples of phase changes are melting (changing from a solid to a liquid), freezing (changing from a liquid to a solid), evaporation (changing from a liquid to a gas), and condensation (changing from a gas to a liquid). (See boiling point, condensation point, freezing point, melting point, triple point, and vaporization.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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