Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Six States of Matter?

Last week, we held a medieval-style disputation in my theology classes to introduce Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologia [NOTE TO STUDENTS READING THIS POST: do not cite Wikipedia as an authoritative source!]. To keep the assignment fun, we debated the shape of the earth. One group who presented arguments in favor of a flat earth surprised me by referring to "the six states of matter." I say "surprised" because I thought I'd done rather well keeping up with developments in the sciences since I changed majors many years ago, and I could only name four. The students told me that the other two states are "Bose-Einstein condensates" and "solar filament." I did a little (very lazy) online research, and found out that these substances--as well as several others--have been proposed as additional states of matter (actually, I couldn't find anything that referred to a solar filament as a state of matter). Who knew? I guess I'm a little further out of the loop than I thought...

No comments:

Post a Comment