Question: How many gases in the world

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  1. There are 11 gaseous elements in the periodic table but gas is a state of matter. The states of matter are solid, liquid and gas (plus 2 others depending on how specific you are) and all matter (as far as I know) can transition between them.
    For example, nitrogen is a gas at room temperature but if you cool it down it becomes a liquid. Liquid nitrogen is lots of fun to play with but if you keep making it colder eventually the liquid nitrogen would become a solid block of nitrogen ice. Unfortunately you cant do this in your freezer and instead need very large and very expensive equipment.


  2. Hi Ferara,

    James has answered this well, so the only thing that i would add to it, is that there are also many gases made up of different elements.

    So carbon dioxide is a gas at normal temperature and pressure, and is a combination of carbon and oxygen.

    These compounds can also become solids under the right conditions.


  3. Hi Ferara,
    James and Dustin have answered this well.

    I’ll just add that we can’t really ever know for sure how many gases there are, or even how many different chemicals there are, because new chemicals/compounds are being found and made all the time.

    Also, as they have both mentioned, most chemicals can be either gas, liquid or solid under the right temperature conditions. Solids usually melt to liquids, and liquids vaporise to gases. In the opposite direction, gases condense to form liquid, and liquids freeze to the solid state.

    But there are some chemicals that don’t ever enter the liquid state – they can either exist in the solid or gaseous states only. The process of turning straight from a solid to a gas is called ‘sublimation’, and the process of gases turning to solids is called ‘deposition’. Examples of some chemicals that sublime/deposit (rather than melt/freeze and vaporise/condense are elemental iodine (I2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) (as Dustin mentioned), which is called ‘dry ice’ when it is solid.