States of Matter

Matter around us exists in three different states– solid, liquid and gas. These states of matter arise due to the variation in the characteristics of the particles of matter.

THE SOLID STATE

All solid have a definite shape, distinct boundaries and fixed volumes, that is, have negligible compressibility. Solids have a tendency to maintain their shape when subjected to outside force. Solids may break under force but it is difficult to change their shape, so they are rigid.

THE LIQUID STATE

Liquids have no fixed shape but have a fixed volume. They take up the shape of the container in which they are kept. Liquids flow and change shape, so they are not rigid but can be called fluid.

The rate of diffusion of liquids is higher than that of solids. This is due to the fact that in the liquid state, particles move freely and have greater space between each other as compared to particles in the solid state.

THE GASEOUS STATE

Gases are highly compressible as compared to solids and liquids.

In the gaseous state, the particles move about randomly at high speed. Due to this random movement, the particles hit each other and also the walls of the container. The pressure exerted by the gas is because of this force exerted by gas particles per unit area on the walls of the container.

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