Here's a thought that has been going through my head for the past few weeks. Answer this question:
If you have a single unit of any given substance, what state of matter is it in?
Do you base your answer by temperature (IE, if it's water at 31 degrees Fahrenheit, it must be a solid)
Or do you base your answer by how this particle interacts with other particles (IE, a gas will expand to distribute itself equally in its container)
We know that there is a direct correlation between temperature and movement. Heat is generated by friction (movement) and the temperature Absolute Zero is the temperature at which movement ceases. A few years ago, scientists were able to come within one one billionth (that's 1/1,000,000,000) of absolute zero. This was achieved not by lowering the temperature, but by setting up a container of magnets to hold something (I don't know what it was) almost perfectly still. So, If you have a single unit of any given substance, what state of matter is it in?
Let me know what you think.
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“One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse”
As far as I know Aggregation state is defined as any given substance interaction with its environment. So for any given molecule in a vacuum the whole concept is undefined.
A substance that has a to high temperature to exists as a liquid can still be subjected to a high enough pressure so that its density becomes that of a liquid. This state is called a super critical fludium (I think, thats a direct translation from swedish).
Indeed, we made supercritical fluids during the the chemical thermodynamics lab I was teaching after I got my diploma. If my memory serves me right we used sulfur hexafluoride SF6 at pressures < 50bar to achieve this state. Don't remember the temperature but it was < 100°C sins we used water to keep the temperature stable.
Temperature. If the particle is moving, then that determines it's overall phase because temperature and pressure affect the phase (but since we have only one particle in a vacuum, we can really forget about pressure), but being able to determine the phase will need three particles (or was it four?).