What Is a Solid?

A solid has a regular arrangement of particles, making it incompressible. This means that it cannot be compressed into smaller shapes, and all of its bonds are equal. Crystalline solids will also have a distinct melting point, as heat will break all of its bonds at once. If you’re wondering how to determine what a solid is, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn more. We’ll discuss the basic structure of solids, how they change with temperature, and what makes them unique.


A solid is a material that has a rigid structure and resists changes in shape and volume. Atoms in a solid are tightly bound to one another and are organized in a regular geometric lattice. Crystalline solids include metals, common window glass, and ordinary ice. Noncrystalline solids include water and air. The three most common types of solids are amorphous, crystalline, and network.

Atomic structure

The atomic structure of a solid is essential for the study of the properties of a variety of compounds. Atoms deviate from spherical symmetry when they experience external forces. These forces depend on the magnitude of the field as well as the orbital types of the outer shell electrons. At sites of low symmetry of the lattice, large crystal-electric fields can be generated. Studies have revealed that chalcogen and sulfur ions exhibit ellipsoidal deformations in their crystal structures.

Lattice pattern

Crystals are made of solid lattices and are formed when small amounts of a substance are deposited onto a nucleation site. Substances are then added to form layers which ultimately form a crystal lattice. The larger the substance and time used to grow the crystals, the larger they will become. Crystals consist of repeating patterns, and the smallest repeating pattern is called a unit cell. Space groups are three-dimensional descriptions of symmetry within crystal structures.

Specific heat capacity

The specific heat capacity of a solid is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a material by one degree Celsius. The specific heat capacity of a solid depends on the starting temperature T and the pressure p. Both of these factors must be considered. If you don’t know what these parameters are, read on for more information. The specific heat capacity of a solid is often calculated using the law of equipartition of energy.

Physical properties

The physical properties of a solid determine the type of object it is. Solids have both intensive and extensive properties, which depend on how the material reacts to a particular stimulus. Examples of intensive properties include density and hardness. Bulk properties depend on how well atoms interact to form a solid. Examples of extensive properties include conductivity, density, and elasticity. These properties can be measured through various mechanical tests. Read on to learn more about physical properties of solids.