What are some examples of solids?


Quick Answer

Some examples of solids include ice, silver and glass. Solids are a form of matter that retains its shape and volume even when taken out of a confining space such as a laboratory container.

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Full Answer

Matter is anything that has mass and volume. For example, air is matter even though it is invisible because it has a definite weight and takes up space. All matter consists of tiny particles called atoms. Depending upon the form or state of the matter, the arrangement of these atoms may be more or less orderly.

Solids are a state of matter that have fairly orderly arrangements of atoms. Even if there is no definite pattern to the atoms, once a piece of matter is in a solid state, its atoms don't move around much. For this reason, solids are very rigid in comparison to liquids or gases. While gases change shape and volume readily, and liquids easily change shape, solids do not easily change their shape or volume.

There are many different kinds of solid matter. Solid materials like ice are crystals. They consist of arrangements of atoms into regular patterns. Amorphous solids like glass, by contrast, have atoms that are not arranged in any kind of pattern. Some materials can exist as either amorphous or crystalline solids. For example, in its amorphous solid form, polyethylene is used to make flexible bags. In a more crystalline form, it is used to make milk bottles.

Another kind of solid is metal. Atoms contain tiny particles that carry electrical charge called electrons. In a metallic solid, the electrons across many different atoms are shared with their neighbors. Because no single atom in a metallic solid has a strong hold on a particular electron, metals are good conductors of electricity. One example of a metallic solid is silver.

Learn more about States of Matter

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