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Hi Amy. Standard state is when a substance is at its lowest energy due to the state of matter it's in. For example, the reaction in the book, CH4(g) + 2O2(g) --> CO2(g) +2H2O(l), shows us that the standard state of the first three compounds is gas. This means that these compounds are at their lowest energy when they are in a gaseous state. However, water is at its lowest energy when it's in liquid form. Hope this helps!
The standard states of elements are when they are in their most stable natural form at 25 degrees Celsius and 1 atmosphere of pressure as well as 1 mole of the molecule. For some elements, (Br, N, Cl, H, O, and F) the most stable natural form is a diatomic molecule.
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