Solids have definite shapes and volumes because their atoms and molecules are held together firmly by the strong inter-molecular forces. At low temperatures, the kinetic energy in the solid is usually not enough to overcome these intermolecular forces, so the solid remains in the same state.Continue Reading
The molecules of solids are held together so tightly that their movement is limited, and this is what gives them shape and volume. Their ability to resist compression is another property that makes solids retain their shape and volume. In the solid state, substances have high densities, and their diffusion rates are far lower than those of liquids.
Generally, solids are classified into two categories depending on how the constituent molecules and atoms are arranged in the solid. These are crystalline solids and amorphous solids.
In crystalline solids, the molecules and the atoms are organized into definite shapes so that when the solid is shattered, the orderly arrangement of the ions, molecules or atoms results in straight edges. In amorphous solids, the molecules and the atoms have no definite arrangement, and the solid consists of disorganized and tangled strings of molecules. When these solids are shuttered, the edges appear as curved because there is no definite internal structure. A perfect example of an amorphous solid is glass.Learn more about States of Matter
A crystalline substance is a substance where the molecules, atoms or ions that compose it are in an extremely regular pattern in three dimensions. This regular pattern is called the crystal's lattice. Whether a substance solidifies as a crystal often depends on the way in which it forms, not its chemical components.Full Answer >
The key difference between a liquid and a gas is that the atoms or molecules in a gas are separated from each other and are not arranged in any particular order. The particles of a liquid are close together, even though they also aren't arranged in a certain order.Full Answer >
The three main points of the kinetic theory of matter are all matter consists of molecules and atoms; these molecules and atoms are constantly in motion; and as the temperature increases, the speed of the particles, and therefore the energy of the matter, increases. Each of these three points, once further explained, reveal how and why matter can change between the three phases of solid, liquid and gas.Full Answer >
Gas is easier to compress than liquid because liquid must fit within a fixed volume, while gaseous molecules and atoms can spread out an infinite distance. The comparatively greater space available between gas molecules and atoms makes compression much simpler.Full Answer >