Do Solids Have Definite Volume?


Quick Answer

By definition, solids have a fixed volume. The atoms or molecules composing a solid are closely packed together and are stabilized by interatomic or intermolecular forces, making them resistant to further compression.

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Full Answer

Solids are one of the four commonly observed states of matter. The others are gas, liquid and plasma. Matter in a gaseous state has widely separated atoms or molecules with no regular arrangement and can conform to the size and volume of its container. Matter in a liquid state has more densely packed atoms or molecules but lacks a fixed structure. It resists compression but can still conform to a container's shape. Matter in the plasma state exists as positively charged atomic nuclei and free electrons. Like a gas, plasma does not have a fixed shape or volume but differs from an ordinary gas in that it responds strongly to electromagnetic forces.

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