The ancient picture of a universe filled with matter composed of but a few fundamental elements faded after the scientific revolution. By the nineteenth century, it had been replaced by a far more lively and complex view in which the materials in nature were seen as a rich array of elements in countless combinations. Three of the four Aristotelian elements — earth, water, and air — survived as categories for describing the ordinary states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. The fourth element — fire — eventually became associated with ionized gases (plasmas).
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