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  • Writer's pictureYashodhan Gohil

Does Matter, Matter?

My teacher asked me, "What's the matter?"

I said, "There's many supercritical fluids, excitation, degenerate matter, and Bose-Einstein condensate." Matter is defined, as a material substance that constitutes the observable universe and, together with energy, it forms the basis of all objective phenomena. In simple terms, Anything that has mass is made up of matter – an all-encompassing word for atoms and molecules that make up our physical world.

We will begin this matter with supercritical fluids; the name itself suggests that its a substance at a temperature and pressure above its critical point, where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist, but below the pressure required to compress it into a solid. It can effuse through porous solids like a gas. You can lay hold of them in the atmospheres of the gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Next on the list, we have a degenerate matter which is a highly dense state of fermionic matter in which the Pauli exclusion principle exerts significant pressure in addition to, or in lieu of thermal pressure. The term is mainly used in astrophysics to refer to dense stellar objects where gravitational pressure is extreme. This type of matter is naturally found in stars in their final evolutionary states, such as white dwarfs and neutron stars. Excitation is something like your reaction when you win a match in football. It is the quantum state of the system that has higher energy than the ground state. It is an elevation in energy level above an arbitrary baseline energy state for a short period. It is like an electron after absorbing energy, that may jump from the ground state to a higher energy (excited) state.

Bose-Einstein condensate is considered as the fifth state of matter; it is typically formed when a gas of bosons at low densities is cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under these conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point microscopic quantum mechanical phenomena, particularly wavefunction interference, become apparent macroscopically.

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