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Difference Between Solid, Liquid, and Gas in a Tabular Form, Definitions

Everything present around you is composed of matter. The matter may be defined as something that has a certain mass and occupies space. Matter exists in three states, namely solid, liquid, and gas. The states of matter are different because of their unique physical characteristics. For example, solids have a specific size and shape. Conversely, liquids take the shape of the container and do have a specific size.

Definitions

Solid - A solid is a state of matter having a definite shape and volume. The atoms or molecules in a solid are tightly packed and exhibit a specific geometry.

Liquid - A liquid is a state of matter having a definite volume but taking the shape of a container. Liquids do not have a specific shape and acquire the shape of the vessel. Liquids can flow and slide over each other.

Gas - A gas is a state of matter that has neither a definite shape nor volume. Gases expand readily and can fill the container of any size and shape.

In this article, we will be studying the differences between the three states of matter, i.e. solids, liquids, and gases.

Differences between solids, liquids, and gases

The various differences between solids, liquids, and gases are tabulated below.

The various differences between solids, liquids, and gases are tabulated below. 

S. No

Characteristic property

Solid 

Liquid

Gas

  1.  

Volume 

Solids contain a definite volume. It is because of strong intermolecular forces existing between various particles in the given solid. 

Liquids do contain a definite volume. The intermolecular forces between different particles are strong. However, they are not as strong as solids. 

Gases do not have a definite volume. The intermolecular forces present between different particles are very weak. 

  1.  

Compressibility 

Solids cannot be compressed because they are already compact. 

Liquids are compressible to a little extent. However, high pressure or high temperature are required to compress liquids. 

Gases are easily compressible. 

  1.  

Diffusion 

Solids diffuse into liquids. 

Diffusion of liquids is greater than that of solids. 

Gases diffuse at a greater speed compared to liquids and solids. 

  1.  

Density 

The density of solids is high because they have a definite shape and volume. 

Density of solids is high. 

The density of liquids is comparatively less than that of liquids. 

Density of liquids is moderate. 

Compared to solids and liquids, gases have a low density. 

Density of gases is low. 

  1. K

Kinetic energy of molecules or particles at a given particular temperature

Particles present in solids have the least kinetic energy. Hence, random movement of particles is also negligible. 

Particles present in liquids have greater kinetic energy compared to solids. Hence, liquids allow free movement of particles. 

Gaseous particles have the highest kinetic energy compared to solids and liquids. 

  1. S

Intermolecular forces of attraction 

The intermolecular forces of attraction between different particles are so strong and capable of holding them in fixed positions. 

The intermolecular forces of attraction between particles are comparatively lesser than that of solids. However, they are capable of holding the particles in aggregation inside the bulk of liquid. Unlike solids, intermolecular forces of attraction do not hold particles in fixed positions. 

The intermolecular forces of attraction between gaseous particles are very low. This is one of the reasons why they diffuse easily and exhibit random motion. 

  1.  

Arrangement of molecules 

Solids exhibit a definite geometry where particles are arranged in a specific pattern. 

Compared to solids, the arrangement of particles in solids is loose which is why liquids do not have a fixed shape.

The arrangement or packing of particles in gases is poor. Hence, gases are shapeless. 

  1.  

Fluidity 

Solids have a definite shape and packing. The particles are tightly packed into a definite geometry. Hence solids do not exhibit flow properties. 

Liquids do not have a specific shape with particles arranged loosely. Hence, liquids exhibit excellent flow properties. Liquids flow easily. 

Similar to liquids, gases also exhibit flow properties. This is mainly because of their high kinetic energies and loose arrangement of particles. Gases also flow easily. 

  1.  

Movement of particles 

The particles in a given solid are tightly packed. Hence, the movement of particles is highly restricted. These particles can vibrate to and fro only about their mean positions. 

The particles in any liquid are loosely arranged. Hence, the movement is unrestricted and free. Particles in a liquid move freely, but within the boundary of the container. 

Gaseous particles have high kinetic energies and are loosely packed. Hence, they move freely in the entire space available. Their movement is not restricted to the vessel itself, as seen in liquids. 

  1.  

Expansion on heating 

Solids generally do not expand much on heating. In rare conditions, expansion of solids takes place. 

Compared to solids, liquids exhibit a greater expansion when subjected to heat. 

Gases expand to a greater extent when heated. They exhibit the highest level of expansion upon heating. 

  1.  

Examples

Ice, wood, sand, glass, brick, etc. 

Water, oil, milk, alcohol, etc. 

Water vapor, air, carbon dioxide, hydrogen gas, etc.  

1

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