State of matter / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter. The others are solid, liquid, and plasma.[1]

Drifting smoke particles indicate the movement of the surrounding gas.

A pure gas may be made up of individual atoms (e.g. a noble gas like neon), elemental molecules made from one type of atom (e.g. oxygen), or compound molecules made from a variety of atoms (e.g. carbon dioxide). A gas mixture, such as air, contains a variety of pure gases. What distinguishes gases from liquids and solids is the vast separation of the individual gas particles. This separation usually makes a colorless gas invisible to the human observer.

The gaseous state of matter occurs between the liquid and plasma states,[2] the latter of which provides the upper-temperature boundary for gases. Bounding the lower end of the temperature scale lie degenerative quantum gases[3] which are gaining increasing attention.[4] High-density atomic gases super-cooled to very low temperatures are classified by their statistical behavior as either Bose gases or Fermi gases. For a comprehensive listing of these exotic states of matter, see list of states of matter.

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