types of matter
So I hope we all now are aware of the four not three fundimental states of matter (I know even in the past twenty years, which would be my early science education, we were only taught three) (yes I am old).
But did you know there are a fuckton more states of matter?
Okay, so a lot of them don’t appear on earth (okay, so most of them don’t really “appear” anywhere outside of math) (but lots do! Like glass! Which is now sometimes recognized as its own state! And liquid crystal! Which is how your screens work!), but let’s just talk about a couple real quick here:
Superfluid: Close to absolute zero, some liquids form a second liquid state described as superfluid because it has zero viscosity (or infinite fluidity; i.e., flowing without friction).
Bose-Einstein condensate: (This is my favorite one, you guys) In a BEC, matter stops behaving as independent particles, and collapses into a single quantum state that can be described with a single, uniform wavefunction.
Dropleton: A “quantum fog” of electrons and holes that flow around each other and even ripple like a liquid.
Degenerate matter: Electron-degenerate matter is found inside white dwarf stars. Electrons remain bound to atoms but are able to transfer to adjacent atoms. Neutron-degenerate matter is found in neutron stars. Vast gravitational pressure compresses atoms so strongly that the electrons are forced to combine with protons via inverse beta-decay, resulting in a superdense conglomeration of neutrons.
Quark-gluon plasma:Quark–gluon plasma is a phase in which quarks become free and able to move independently. (This one can exist inside particle accelerators.
Color-glass condensate: Color-glass condensate is a type of matter theorized to exist in atomic nuclei traveling near the speed of light. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, a high-energy nucleus appears length contracted, or compressed, along its direction of motion. As a result, the gluons inside the nucleus appear to a stationary observer as a “gluonic wall” traveling near the speed of light.
Supersolid: A supersolid is a spatially ordered material (that is, a solid or crystal) with superfluid properties. Similar to a superfluid, a supersolid is able to move without friction but retains a rigid shape. Although a supersolid is a solid, it exhibits so many characteristic properties different from other solids that many argue it is another state of matter.
And there are so many more! Like dark matter and superglass and equilibrium gel!
Now, please do realize that these are not fundamental states of matter like the four in the gif above are. But they are so awesome.
PS I sauced most of this from Wikipedia but there is so much fascinating stuff out there about non-classical states of matter, and some great books as well, if this stuff fascinates you as much as it does me. Matter states are one of my physics fetishes, you guys, so I hope I could at least enlighten you a little bit.