As we know matter is defined as any substance that has mass and takes up space. Matter has three states - solid, liquid and gaseous. There is a fourth state of matter known as plasma state.

Did you know: Bose-Einstein condensate is a fifth state of matter.

Properties of solid
Solid is one of the fundamental states of matter. The atoms in a solid are tightly bound together in an orderly repeating pattern or irregularly. Solids are rigid. They have a fixed shape and a definite volume. They have a melting point and boiling point above room temperature.

Properties of solid & liquid | Image source:

Solids may be crystalline or amorphous. Materials where the atoms are arranged in a regular pattern are called crystals. In some materials the regular ordering can continue unbroken over a large scale. Solid objects are usually composed of large number of single crystals known as crystallites. Such materials are called as polycrystalline. In some materials there is no longer-range order of atoms. These materials are called amorphous solids. Example of crystallite solid is diamond and examples of amorphous solids are polyethylene and glass.

A solid is crystalline or amorphous depending on the material and the conditions under which it is formed. Solids formed from slow cooling tend to be crystalline while solids which are frozen rapidly are likely to be amorphous.

Classes of solids
Minerals: Minerals are naturally occurring solids.
Metal: They are strong and dense and good conductors of heat and electricity.
Ceramics: They are composed of inorganic compounds.
Organic solids: Examples of organic solids are wood and polymer.
Composite materials: These materials have two or more macroscopic phases.
Semiconductors: Semiconductors have electrical resistivity between metals and insulators.

The mechanical properties describe characteristics such as strength and resistance to deformation. Other mechanical properties include elasticity and plasticity, strength, ductility and hardness. Many materials become weaker at higher temperature.

Did you know: Solid Materials that retain their strength at higher temperatures are called refractory material.

You can also deform solids form their shape. The proportion of deformation to the original shape is called strain. If the applied stress is sufficiently low then strain is directly proportional to stress in solids.

A liquid is defined as a substance that flows freely but is of constant volume. Liquids take the shape of the container. This is the only state of matter with definite volume and no fixed shape. It is made up of vibrating particles particles of atoms held by intermolecular pressure. The most common liquid is water. Liquids resist compressions.

The density of liquids is close to that of solids and much higher than gas. Liquids are also termed as called condensed matter. A liquid has the ability to flow. A distinct property of liquids is surface tension.

Atomic structure of liquids
Liquid particles are bound firmly but not rigidly. The particles can move around freely which results in a limited degree of partial mobility. As the temp increases the vibration between the molecules increases and this increases the distance between the molecules.

When a liquid reaches boiling point the force that keeps the molecules together breaks and it changes to gaseous state. If the temperature decreases the distance between the molecules decreases.

When the liquids reach freezing point the molecules lock in a very specific order called crystallizing. The bonds between them become more rigid and the liquid turns into solid state.


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