What is a solid? What are its physical characteristics? A solid can have many different properties, ranging from being pliable to being rock-hard. Solids can be small grains of sand all the way up to the size of an asteroid. Its shape and weight are determined by the density of the molecules that make it up. Here are some important facts about solids. To understand solids, you should study the properties of other solids.
Solids have a definite shape
A solid is a physical substance that has a definite shape, or geometry. Its atoms are tightly packed, with very little space between them. The molecules of solids are held together by strong intermolecular forces. These forces result in the solids’ definite shape and volume. Because of their definite shape and geometry, solids are considered incompressible and have definite volumes.
They have a definite volume
A solid is a solid that has a fixed shape and volume. Its constituent particles cannot move from their fixed positions; instead, they can only vibrate from a mean position. A solid’s volume is determined by the intermolecular forces that hold the constituent particles in place. This makes solids a more dense type of material than liquids and gases. Solids have a definite volume and shape, which are important characteristics when comparing the properties of various materials.
They are more dense than liquids
The densities of various substances are classified according to their state of matter. Most gases and liquids are less dense than solids, while the opposite holds true for a few rare gases. Solids, however, are denser than liquids because the molecules in them are arranged closely together. This means that the density of liquids is generally the same as that of solids, but the measurements are usually given in terms of grams per cubic centimeter, milliliter, or liter.
They conduct electricity
Solids conduct electricity by moving electrons, a basic unit of charge. While metals and molten ionic solids have electrons, most non-metals and plastics do not. This property allows them to conduct electricity, but only a small fraction can move freely in a crystal. Those electrons are called conduction electrons. While most metals and most non-metals have large numbers of conduction electrons, water has only a small number. Because uncharged water molecules cannot attract a charged electrode, it is nonconducting.
They are more brittle than gases
The physics of solids and gases is based on the attraction between their constituent parts. The strength of attractive forces is one of the key factors in the hardness of a solid. Ionic and mollusc solids have weak intermolecular forces, while metallic and three-dimensional covalent network solids have strong covalent bonds and are among the hardest substances known to man. Let’s look at some of these differences in more detail.