You are on page 1of 2

Gases, Liquids, and Solids

Gases, liquids and solids are all made up of atoms, molecules, and/or ions, but the behaviors of these particles differ in the three phases. The following figure illustrates the microscopic differences.

Microscopic view of a gas.

Microscopic view of a liquid.

Microscopic view of a solid.

Note that:

Particles in a: o gas are well separated with no regular arrangement. o liquid are close together with no regular arrangement. o solid are tightly packed, usually in a regular pattern. Particles in a: o gas vibrate and move freely at high speeds. o liquid vibrate, move about, and slide past each other. o solid vibrate (jiggle) but generally do not move from place to place.

Liquids and solids are often referred to as condensed phases because the particles are very close together. The following table summarizes properties of gases, liquids, and solids and identifies the microscopic behavior responsible for each property.

Some Characteristics of Gases, Liquids and Solids and the Microscopic Explanation for the Behavior Gas liquid solid assumes the shape and assumes the shape of the retains a fixed volume and volume of its container part of the container which shape particles can move past one it occupies rigid - particles locked into another particles can move/slide place past one another compressible not easily compressible not easily compressible lots of free space between little free space between little free space between particles particles particles flows easily flows easily does not flow easily particles can move past one particles can move/slide rigid - particles cannot another past one another move/slide past one another

Pure water is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Water can occur in three states: solid (ice), liquid, or gas(vapor). Solid waterice is frozen water. When water freezes, its molecules move farther apart, making ice less dense than water. This means that ice will be lighter than the same volume of water, and so ice will float in water. Water freezes at 0 Celsius, 32 Fahrenheit. Liquid water is wet and fluid. This is the form of water with which we are most familiar. We use liquid water in many ways, including washing and drinking. Water as a gasvapor is always present in the air around us. You cannot see it. When you boil water, the water changes from a liquid to a gas or water vapor. As some of the water vapor cools, we see it as a small cloud called steam. This cloud of steam is a miniversion of the clouds we see in the sky. At sea level, steam is formed at 100 Celsius, 212 Fahrenheit. The water vapor attaches to small bits of dust in the air. It forms raindrops in warm temperatures. In cold temperatures, it freezes and forms snow or hail.