University students' experiment shows substance in liquid, gas, and solid form

A mass spectrometer is an instrument that measures the masses and relative concentrations of atoms and molecules.
By Aileen Graef  |  March 31, 2014 at 2:38 PM
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Students at Manchester University were conducting an experiment when they saw the fluid they were working with take on a liquid, solid, and gas form all at once.

The students were using a mass spectrometer to determine the identity of a fluid but noticed a strange result. When they were vaporizing the fluid with a vacuum pump and the pressure dropped, they reached the fluid's triple point. The triple point is the pressure and temperature at which the substance exists as a solid, liquid, and gas all at the same time.


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