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States of Matter: Solids, Liquids, and Gases

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Matter is anything that occupies space and has mass. Solid, liquid and gas are the most common forms (or states) of matter.

Solid

A solid has a certain shape and size. We need to apply force size of a solid object. For example, a wooden plank does not change its shape or size itself. The shape of a rubber ball changes only if we squeeze it. The size of a stick changes if we break it into parts. The particles in a solid are very closely packed together. They have a very strong bonding force among them. As a result a solid has a definite shape and a definite size. Glass, plastic, stone are solid in form

Liquid

A liquid has definite size (or volume) but indefinite shape. For example, milk is liquid. It takes the shape of its container but its volume remains the same irrespective of the size of the container. The particles of a liquid are not as closely packed as those of solid. The interaction between them is weak which allows liquids to flow freely. Water, coke, shakes, oil are examples of liquid.

Gas

It has no shape or size of its own. It takes the shape of its container and occupies the space given to it. Air around us is a mixture of gases. Gases have no color. The particles of a gas are loosely packed as they have very weak force of interaction among them.

The diagram below shows the interaction between the particles of the three forms of matter:

These three forms of matter can be changed from one form to another. Solids can be transformed into liquids by melting, and liquids can be transformed into solids by freezing. Solids can also change directly into gases through the process of sublimation. Liquid can be transformed to gas by vaporization. Gas can be compressed to liquid.

 

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