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November 28, 2007

The State of Matter

When we were small and largely innocent, when we were young and at school, we were told, with great confidence, that there were three ways stuff could be: solid, liquid or gas. And the world was a happier place because of this.


Then, when you leave school and start learning things, you find stuff ainít that straightforward after all. And the world? Ė well itís isnít the place you were brought up to believe it was.

States of Matter:

Amorphous Solid
Degenerate Matter
Strongly Symmetric Matter
Weakly Symmetric Matter
Quark-Gluon Plasma
Fermionic Condensate
Bose-Einstein Condensate
Strange Matter
Hot Dark Matter
Cold Dark Matter

In fact the list goes on because, at this level, whether something is matter or not becomes somewhat blurred, which is not surprising when stuff like Hot Dark Matter is travelling at ultrarelativistic velocity.

a wispy ring of dark matter, NASA/ESA/MJ Jee/John Hopkins University

I like the fact that there are people working this stuff out and, if they work out just how weak and how symmetric Weakly Symmetric Matter is, we might be able to find out what happens next.

Though of course if the turtles ever get to hear of it we're done for.

Posted by john at November 28, 2007 11:09 AM