ElI5: We were taught about the 3 states of matter in school, but there’s a 4th state called plasma. Why weren’t we taught about all 4 states together?

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ElI5: We were taught about the 3 states of matter in school, but there’s a 4th state called plasma. Why weren’t we taught about all 4 states together?

In: Physics

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because your butt only creates 3 states of matter. So they would have said 4, butt there are 3.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because there are more than 4, and if you want the complete list it will get very very complicated, and involve a lot of quantum physics. (Superfluids, Einstein-Bose-Condensates, Supersolids, …)

It’s a lie for kids to keep things simple and allow kids to first understand the basics before they are exposed to concepts where they are missing a bunch of other knowledge to properly understand it.

Also plasma isn’t really so different from a gas. It’s just ionized gas, and there is no well agreed upon line where a gas is considered a plasma because there are partially ionized gasses too. So if something is a plasma or not depends slightly on context

Anonymous 0 Comments

education is a series of age appropriate simplifications. as you go through you get closer and closer to our actual understanding, but going in full bore on everything from the start would overwhelm every 5yo that ever was.

there’s also supercritical fluids, compressible liquids. many, many kinds of water ice.

eventually you get to the frontier of our knowledge, and it’s all just math with no easy analogy to the real world.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Grade school science was kinda last holistically planned in the 1940s, everything since is roughly bolted onto the shell of that. (math is Similar, any math that was useful for World War II engineers gets to be core, anything useful for computers or statistics or things modern stuff cares about is kinda taught slightly at the edge)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Science is often taught in a very simplified way to younger folks, and this is an example of that.