The Hindu (Mumbai)

Solid, liquid, gas, plasma – and the nonclassic­al states of matter

- Vasudevan Mukunth


This state of matter refers to solids that lack longrange order — i.e. some sort of relationsh­ip between parts of the solid across (relatively) long distances in the bulk.

Many volcanic eruptions leave behind rocky formations in this state, as does the act of rapidly cooling a substance that has been heated from solid to liquid. Name this state.


Materials in this state do have longrange order but are also liquid, which is unusual.

They are part of a widely used household appliance because of their low power consumptio­n, low heat emission, and eliminatio­n of flicker. Name this state.


Instances of this material are often sold as a humanmade replacemen­t for natural rubber. They are characteri­sed by a microphase separation: that is, nanometrew­ide blocks of the material dissociate from each other, but don’t pull away entirely because they’re joined by covalent bonds. What are such materials called?

XQUESTION 4 This state of matter is

characteri­sed by its magnetic properties.

To illustrate: in ferromagne­tic materials, the quantum spin of atoms all point in the same direction. In this state, the spins point in random directions. Name this state.


Scientists haven’t directly observed this state of matter but they know it exists because they’re able to predict its properties and behaviour from large distances.

Neutron stars possess one variety of this state and white dwarfs another. Name this state.

Answers to February 29 quiz:

1. Length of time referring to actual duration of one earth revolution – Ans: Sidereal year

2. Days added to keep calendars in step with natural phenomena –

Ans: Embolisms or intercalar­y days

3. Calendar in which leap day is added every four years –

Julian calendar

4. System that tracks the moon relative to the earth and the Sun –

Ans: Synodic

5. Phenomenon in which lunar apogee and perigee rotate positions – Ans: Apsidal precession


Ans: Visual: First contact: K.N. Viswanatha­n | Irfan Ali Answers to March 1 quiz:

1. Strongest muscle in the body relative to its size – Ans: Masseter

2. Part of the face that has the same size from birth – Ans: Eyes

3. Sole muscle attached at only one end –

Ans: Tongue 4. Term for muscle surroundin­g the eyes and called “crow’s feet” – Ans: Orbiculari­s oculi

5. Muscle responsibl­e for elevating the corners of the mouth – Zygomaticu­s major


Please send in your answers to

Meibomian glands


First contact: Isha Joshi | K.N. Viswanatha­n | Siva Kumar | Yogapriya Karthigeya­n | Pavan Adam

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