Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid, and plasma). A pure gas may be made up of individual atoms (e.g. a noble gas or atomic 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 would contain a variety of pure gases much like the air. What distinguishes a gas 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 interaction of gas particles in the presence of electric and gravitational fields are considered negligible as indicated by the constant velocity vectors in the image.
The gaseous state of matter is found between the liquid and plasma states, the latter of which provides the upper temperature boundary for gases. Bounding the lower end of the temperature scale lie degenerative quantum gases which are gaining increasing attention. High-density atomic gases super cooled to incredibly low temperatures are classified by their statistical behavior as either a Bose gas or a Fermi gas. For a comprehensive listing of these exotic states of matter see list of states of matter.
Famous quotes containing the word gas:
“Man moves in all modes, by legs of horses, by wings of winds, by steam, by gas of balloon, by electricity, and stands on tiptoe threatening to hunt the eagle in his own element.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“... when I awake in the middle of the night, since I knew not where I was, I did not even know at first who I was; I only had in the first simplicity the feeling of existing as it must quiver in an animal.... I spent one second above the centuries of civilization, and the confused glimpse of the gas lamps, then of the shirts with turned-down collars, recomposed, little by little, the original lines of my self.”
—Marcel Proust (18711922)