Water have the right to take many type of forms. At low temperatures (below (0^ exto extC)), it is a solid. When at "normal" temperatures (in between (0^ exto extC) and (100^ exto extC)), it is a liquid. While at temperatures over (100^ exto extC), water is a gas (steam). The state thatwater is in relies upon the temperature. Each state has actually its own distinct collection of physical properties. Matter generally exists in one of three states: solid, liquid, or gas.

You are watching: Why do solids have a fixed shape


Plasma: A 4th State of Matter

Technically speaking, a fourth state of issue called plasma exists, yet it does not normally take place on earth, so we will omit it from our study right here.

api/deki/files/79116/287px-SiO%25C2%25B2_Quartz.svg.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=366&height=200" />


If the pposts of a substance have actually enough power to partially get over intermolecular interactions, then the particles have the right to relocate about each various other while staying in call. This explains the liquid state. In a liquid, the pshort articles are still in close contact, so liquids have a definite volume. However, because the pposts can move around each various other rather openly, a liquid has no definite form and takes a form dictated by its container.

Liquids have actually the following characteristics:

No definite shape (takes the shape of its container). Has definite volume. Particles are totally free to move over each various other, yet are still attracted to each various other.

A familiar liquid is mercury metal. Mercury is an anomaly. It is the just metal we understand of that is liquid at room temperature. Mercury likewise has actually an capability to stick to itself (surchallenge tension)—a home that all liquids exhilittle bit. Mercury has a fairly high surchallenge anxiety, which provides it very unique. Here you check out mercury in its prevalent liquid develop.

Example (PageIndex1)

What state or says of matter does each statement, describe?

This state has a definite volume, however no definite form. This state has no definite volume. This state enables the individual particles to move around while remaining in contact.

See more: If You Can Do It So Can I - If I Can Do It (So Can You)


This statement defines the liquid state. This statement explains the gas state. This statement defines the liquid state.

Exercise (PageIndex1)