What are the three main points of the kinetic theory of matter?


Quick Answer

The three main points of the kinetic theory of matter are all matter consists of molecules and atoms; these molecules and atoms are constantly in motion; and as the temperature increases, the speed of the particles, and therefore the energy of the matter, increases. Each of these three points, once further explained, reveal how and why matter can change between the three phases of solid, liquid and gas.

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Full Answer

All matter, regardless of its chemical makeup, has three states: solid, liquid, and gas. Matter alternates between these three states as its temperature increases and its particles accelerate. When the particles of matter accelerate, the space between them also increases, which alters the properties of the same element of matter in each of its three states.

The three main points of the kinetic theory of matter explain why matter in each state behaves in a different manner when placed in a container:

  1. Matter in its solid state moves the slowest. This is why, regardless of the shape or size of the container it is in, it maintains its original structure.
  2. Matter in a liquid state moves at a faster rate and thus has more space in between each particle. This is why liquids will stretch to fit any container they are placed into, but maintain a consistent volume.
  3. Matter in its gaseous state is the hottest and therefore the fastest moving with the most space between the particles. As a result, gasses expand to fill a container completely.

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