States of Matter

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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the science of matter and the states in which it can exist. Most people are familiar with the idea that a substance like water can exist in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. But as much as 99% of the matter in the universe is now believed to exist in a fourth state, plasma. Today scientists recognise a number of other exotic states or phases, such as glasses, gels and liquid crystals - many of them with useful properties that can be exploited.


Andrea Sella
Professor of Chemistry at University College London

Athene Donald
Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge

Justin Wark
Professor of Physics and Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 3 Apr 2014 21:30


Andrea Sella at University College London


Athene Donald at the University of Cambridge


Justin Wark at the University of Oxford


State of matter - Wikipedia


States of matter - General Chemistry Virtual Textbook


Liquid Crystals


Perspectives on Plasmas - the fourth state of matter


Supercritical fluids


Supercritical carbon dioxide





Philip Ball, H2O: A Biography of Water (Phoenix, 2000)


Shalom Eliezer and Y. Eliezer, The Fourth State of Matter: An Introduction to Plasma Science (Taylor & Francis, 2001)


Mark Miodownik, Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World (Viking, 2013)


D. Tabor, Gases, Liquids and Solids and Other States of Matter (Cambridge University Press, 1991)




Tin ingot suffering from tin pest

Tin ingot suffering from tin pest


Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestAndrea Sella
Interviewed GuestAthene Donald
Interviewed GuestJustin Wark
ProducerThomas Morris

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