Is Water a Matter? (+ 3 Things You Should Know)

Yes, water is considered matter because it has mass and occupies space. It is a physical substance that exists in the form of a liquid at standard temperature and pressure.

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Why is water a state of matter?

Water is a state of matter because it exists as a liquid at standard temperature and pressure. 1 Its molecular structure and intermolecular forces allow it to flow and take the shape of its container.

Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, forming a bent molecular structure. 2 This bent shape creates a polarity in the molecule, with the oxygen atom having a partial negative charge and the hydrogen atoms having partial positive charges. 3

This polarity gives rise to strong intermolecular forces called hydrogen bonds, which hold water molecules together. These hydrogen bonds make water cohesive and provide it with unique properties, such as high specific heat, surface tension, and the ability to dissolve a wide range of substances. 4

At standard temperature and pressure, the intermolecular forces between water molecules are balanced, allowing them to move relatively freely while still remaining close together. This results in the liquid state of water, where it can flow and take the shape of its container.

The temperature at which water changes from a liquid to a gas (vapor) is its boiling point, and the temperature at which it changes from a liquid to a solid (ice) is its freezing point.

In summary, water is a state of matter because its molecular structure and intermolecular forces enable it to exist as a liquid at standard temperature and pressure. These properties are due to its bent molecular shape, polarity, and the formation of hydrogen bonds between water molecules.

Different physical states of water

Water can exist in three different physical states: solid, liquid, and gas. 5

  1. Solid state: Water freezes and becomes solid at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). In this state, water molecules arrange themselves in a regular pattern, forming a crystal lattice structure. The most common form of solid water is ice, which can take various forms such as ice cubes, snowflakes, or glaciers. 6
  2. Liquid state: At temperatures between 0 degrees Celsius and 100 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit), water is in its liquid state. 7 In this state, water molecules are close together but not as rigidly arranged as in the solid state. Liquid water can flow, take the shape of its container, and is essential for supporting life and various physical and chemical processes.
  3. Gas state: Water can exist as a gas, known as water vapor, at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). 8 In this state, water molecules have high energy and move freely, occupying a larger volume. Water vapor is invisible but can condense into liquid droplets when it cools down, forming clouds, fog, or dew.

These different states of water occur due to changes in temperature and pressure. The transition from one state to another involves either gaining or losing energy, which affects the molecular arrangement and movement of water molecules.

Further reading

Is Sound a Matter?
Is Electricity a Matter?
Is Fire a Matter?
Why is Air a Matter?
Is Fire a Plasma?

About author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.

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  1. Phases of Matter. (n.d.). Phases of Matter.
  2. P. (n.d.). Water. Water | H2O | CID 962 – PubChem.
  3. CHEM 245 – Water. (n.d.). CHEM 245 – Water.
  4. The strong polar bond between water molecules creates water cohesion. | U.S. Geological Survey. (2019, June 18). The Strong Polar Bond Between Water Molecules Creates Water Cohesion. | U.S. Geological Survey.
  6. Ice. (n.d.). Ice.
  7. 7.1: The Properties of Water. (2019, September 24). Chemistry LibreTexts.

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