Characteristics of Solids

When we talk about a solid, we are referring to an object that has three dimensions and is characterized by a tight locking of atoms. This makes solids extremely rigid and resistant to deformation by outside forces. Listed below are some characteristics of solids. Read on to discover more about them. This article also contains a list of the most common solid types. You may find it helpful to understand the definitions of some of these materials.

Crystalline solids

A crystal is a solid material with an extremely ordered microscopic structure. These solids are often found in the form of crystal lattices. The crystal lattice is a crystalline solid’s main characteristic, and helps determine its properties. The structure of a crystal is unique to that material. It is not common for another substance to have a similar structure, so it is necessary to identify its characteristics.

Molecular solids

A molecular solid is a solid composed of discrete molecules bound together by van der Waals forces, dipole-dipole interactions, and quadrupole interactions. A molecular solid can be described as a solid made of many molecules with varying degrees of reactivity. Here, we will explore these reactivity-dependent properties. Molecular solids are extremely common in nature and may be found in all types of materials.

Network covalent solids

Network covalent solids are giant substances that contain both ionic and covalent bonds. These solids have fixed geometries and extremely high melting and boiling points. They are also extremely hard, stiff, and brittle. This article explores the properties of some of the most common network covalent solids. Let’s look at each of these types in more detail. Listed below are a few examples of network covalent solids.

Metallic solids

The common properties of metallic solids include good conductivity, low density, and a lustrous appearance. They are also good conductors of heat and electricity. Metals are ductile and malleable. When a metallic solid melts, its lattice is broken, and its molecules change into a liquid state. The melting point is the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid. Once it reaches its melting point, it remains liquid for a long time.

Amorphous solids

Amorphous solids are substances that lack the long-range order characteristic of crystals. The term has often been used synonymously with glass. Historically, people were not always able to distinguish amorphous solids from crystals, and therefore, the two terms were often used interchangeably. Today, though, we are able to differentiate between these two types of solids. The term amorphous has many different uses, and the properties of amorphous materials differ widely.


The difference between solids and gaseous matter is that while solids have a fixed shape, gases are more fluid and can change shape, volume, and density to fit their surroundings. As a result, they can be compressed and weighed. Gases are composed of a number of different elements and gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, neon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and water. In fact, they are everywhere on Earth, including in your home.