Everything that surrounds us, such as air, food, water, plants, animals, vehicles, clothes and so forth is made up of matter. The matter is a collection of particles and is anything that has mass and occupies space. There are three fundamental states of matter, i.e. solid, liquid and gas. The states of matter take place due to the variations in the molecules of matter. While solids have a definite size and shape, liquids flow to take the shape of the beaker and gases diffuse to fill the available volume completely. The difference between solid, liquid and gas lies in their properties, which we are going to discuss in this article.
Content: Solid vs Liquid Vs Gas
|Basis for Comparison||Solid||Liquid||Gas|
|Meaning||Solid refers to a form of matter which has structural rigidity and has a firm shape which cannot be changed easily.||Liquid is a substance, that flows freely, having a definite volume but no permanent shape.||Gas refers to a state of matter, do not have any shape but conform to the shape of the container, completely, in which it is put in.|
|Shape and Volume||Fixed shape and volume.||No fixed shape but has volume.||Neither definite shape nor volume.|
|Arrangement of molecules||Regular and closely arranged.||Random and little sparsely arranged.||Random and more sparsely arranged.|
|Fluidity||Cannot flow||Flows from higher to lower level.||Flows in all directions.|
|Molecular motion||Negligible molecular motion||Brownian molecular motion||Free, constant and random molecular motion.|
|Intermolecular space||Very less||More||Large|
|Sound speed||Fastest||Faster than gas but slower than solid||Lowest among all|
|Storage||Don't need container, for storage.||Cannot be stored without container.||Needs closed container for storage.|
Definition of Solid
By the term ‘solid’ we mean the type of matter which is rigid in structure and opposes the change in its shape and volume. The particles of a solid are tightly bound and well-arranged in a regular pattern, which does not allow the particles to move freely from one place to another. The particles continuously vibrate and twist, but there is no motion, as they are too close to each other.
As the intermolecular attraction is maximum in solids, and because their shape is fixed, and the particles stay, where they are set. In addition to this, the compression of solid is very tough, as the spaces between molecules are already very less.
Definition of Liquid
A free flowing substance of constant volume having consistency is called as the liquid. It is a type of matter which do not have its shape but takes the shape of the vessel, in which it is held. It contains small particles, which are held tightly by intermolecular bonds. One of the unique property of liquid is surface tension, a phenomenon which makes the fluid possess the minimum surface area.
The compression of liquid is a nearly difficult, due to less gap between particles. The particles are closely bound, but not as tightly as in the case of solid. Thus allowing the particles to move around and mix with one another.
Definition of Gas
Gas is described as a state of matter which diffuses freely in all directions and fills the entire space available, regardless of the quantity. It is made up of particle that does not have a certain shape and volume. The particles can be individual atoms or elemental molecules or compound molecules.
In gases, the molecules are loosely held, and so there is a lot of space between molecules to move freely and constantly. Due to this characteristic, the gas has the ability to fill any container, as well as it can be easily compressed.
Key Differences Between Solid, Liquid and Gas
The difference between solid, liquid and gas can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- A substance having structural rigidity and has a firm shape which cannot be changed easily is called solid. A water-like fluid, that flows freely, having a definite volume but no permanent shape, is called liquid. Gas refers to a state of matter, do not have any shape but conform to the shape of the container, completely, in which it is put in.
- While solids have certain shape and volume, liquids only have definite volume but not shape, gases neither have shape nor volume.
- The level of energy is highest in gases, medium in liquid and lowest in solids.
- The compression of solids is difficult, liquids are nearly incompressible, but gases can be easily compressed.
- Molecular arrangement of solids is regular and close, but liquids have irregular and sparse molecular arrangement and gases, too have random and more sparse arrangement of molecules.
- The molecular arrangement in solids is well organised. However, the layers of molecules slip and slide over one another, in the case of liquids. In contrast, the particles in gases are not at all organised, due to which the particles move randomly.
- When it comes to fluidity, solids cannot flow, however, liquids can flow and that also from the higher level to lower level. As against this gases flows in all directions.
- The spaces between the molecules and the kinetic energy are minimum in solids, medium in liquid and maximum in gases. So, the motion of molecules is negligible in solids, whereas in liquids, the erratic, random motion of molecules can be seen. Unlike gases, which have the free, constant and random motion of molecules.
- In solids, the particles are held tightly by strong intermolecular attraction, although in liquids the attraction between particles is intermediate. As against this, the particles are loosely held, because the intermolecular attraction is weak.
- The speed of sound is highest in solids, while the speed is a bit slower in liquids and minimum in gases.
- As solid have a definite shape and size, they do not require a container for storage. Liquids cannot be stored without a container. Conversely, for storing gases, a closed container is required.
Change in state of matter
The matter changes its state from one form to another, when heated or cooled, which is covered under the physical change. So, given below are some processes through which the state of matter can be changed:
- Melting: Process of change of solid into the liquid.
- Freezing: The process which helps in transformation of liquid into solid.
- Vaporisation: Process used to change liquid into gas.
- Condensation: A process in which gas is transformed into liquid.
- Sublimation: When solid is changed into gas, it is called as sublimation.
- Desposition: The process through which gas is converted into solid.
Hence, in this article we have learnt that matter is present in three states, i.w. Solid, liquid and gas. Further, the state of matter are interchangeable, i.e. the form can be changed by changing temperature or pressure.