Lovely Liquids

Here’s a scientific look at one of the three states of matter: liquids

By FamilyTime


Most kids know that there are three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. What makes these different one from another is the way the atoms and molecules are bonded together.

We are looking at liquids. While most of the atoms and molecules in a liquid are bonded — it has a fixed volume — one in 10 or 11 links is broken. This means the liquid can move more freely than a solid, but not a freely as a gas. It can be poured or spilled, for example, and will fit the shape of a container that holds it.

To understand a little more about liquid, here are 10 words or phrases and their definitions that relate to liquid.

Boiling Point: This is the temperature that a liquid has to reach before it can change from a liquid to a gas. When water reaches 212ºF., it turns into steam (a gas).

Buoyancy: This determines how solids float or sink in liquids.

Condense: This means to turn from a gas to a liquid.

Distillation: This is the process by which a liquid is boiled so that it separates into its various components, which as they cool, turn back into pure liquids.

Evaporate: Liquids can turn into gasses through the process of evaporation.

Filtration: When a solid that is mixed with liquid is passed through a filter, the liquid separates from it.

Immiscible: This describes the state of two liquids that will not blend because their molecules push against each other. An everyday example of this is oil and water.

Precipitation: This refers to weather events when water vapor leaves the atmosphere and comes to earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

Suspension: This when small solids and globules of liquid or bubbles of gas are spread throughout a liquid.

Vapor: Vapor is just another word for gas.

As you learn the definitions, think of how they relate to familiar liquids and circumstances. For example, rain is a common form of precipitation. What liquid is rain? Water, of course!

We are more buoyant when we swim in the ocean than when we swim in a fresh water lake. Why? Because the ocean is made of salt water, which is better able to support weight.

We need to add water to a fish tank on a regular basis not because we remove water, but because it naturally evaporates into the atmosphere.


­­­­­We had help from Help Your Kids with Science, written by Tom Jackson, Dr. Mike Goldsmith, Dr. Stewart Savard, and Allison Elia and published by Dorling Kindersley