This is Incredible! What Happens When Gas, Liquid + Solid Coexist

May 20, 2015

How can one substance be a liquid, gas, and solid at the same time? All it takes is the right atmosphere.

The Beginnings of a Very Unusual Discovery
When you pour a liquid into a beaker, the last thing you expect is for it to change form. For a group of students conducting an experiment at the University of Manchester in England, the liquid they were trying to identify did just that. Luckily for us, they caught it on film.

Finding the Triple Point
Without warning, the a liquid in the beaker becomes a solid, only to boil into a gas, which transforms it back into a liquid. It's called the triple point, which the American Heritage College Dictionary defines as:

The temperature and pressure at which the gaseous, liquid, and solid phases of a substance coexist in equilibrium.

And according to Sujata Kundu, a materials chemist, all it takes is one small change in temperature or pressure to throw that equilibrium off balance, and start the cycle (from liquid to solid to gas) rolling.

Watch This Video!
This is a seriously cool chemical reaction. See it unfold in this Science Channel video:


To check out more Science Channel videos, visit their Youtube channel.

H/T to The Kid Should See This

By Lisa Merlini

Tag: Exploring Education

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