Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Research the Topic
Pages and Files
(How common items work)
(How toys work)
Medicine and Pharmacy
Enter New Projects Here
Explain what solids, liquids, and gases are. - R
What are Solids, Liquids, and Gases?
Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Matter isn’t always visible, like gases. All matter is made up of tiny particles like atoms, molecules, or ions. Each particle attracts another particle and the particles are always moving. The motion of the particles and strength of attraction between the particles determine the kind of matter, liquids, solids, and gases.
A solid is a matter that has a specific shape and volume. There are two ways that solids particles can be arranged. They can be in neat lines called crystalline or they can be three dimensional shapes called a crystal. The particles of a solid are packed closely together. They cannot be made smaller or larger. Solid particles vibrate in place. The particles do not have enough energy to move out of their fixed positions. In some solids the particles are arranged in three dimensional shapes that repeat. This is called a crystal. A diamond is a type of a crystalline solid. It is made up of atoms that look like pyramids. Some examples of other crystalline solids are sugar, snow, and sand. Some solids come together and are not in a pattern. These particles are found in random arrangements. These solids are called amorphous solids for example; rubber, plastic, and glass.
Figure 1 Solids
A liquid has a definite volume like a solid. Liquids are described as fluids, the molecules in a liquid move freely. The particles in a liquid are close together. Liquids have no shapes. Liquid takes the shape of any container it is poured into. The volume is the same no matter what the shape of the container. If you pour a liquid into different containers its shape will change but its volume will not. The reason liquid can have different shapes is because the particles in a liquid have enough energy to move out of their fixed positions but not move too far apart.
Figure 2 Liquids
Gas is a state of matter that changes its shape and volume. A liquid gas is described as a fluid. The particles in a gas quickly spread out to fill in the available space. Because there are large distances between gas particles, the particles can easily be compressed. You can’t usu
ally see a gas. Air is a gas that is all around us. It contains mainly oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Gases all act the same even if they are made out of different atoms and molecules. A gas occupies space and has
. Gases are spread out and the atoms and molecules are full of energy. Gases can fill any shape of a container no matter what its size is. The molecules try to spread out to fill all of the space equally. An example of a gas is the hot air in a hot air balloon. Unlike liquids, gases take up all of the space in a container and liquid takes up the bottom of the container. A type of Gas is vapor that is part liquid and part gas. Some examples of Gases are nitrogen, helium,
, carbon dioxide, hydrogen,
Figure 3 Gas
Figure 4 Three states of Matter
Atoms: Tiny parts of all matter
Fixed Positions: An object that can’t be moved out of its position
Molecules: The smallest particle
Particles: Small tiny pieces or fragments
Nitrogen: It is a colorless odorless gas found in the air and proteins
Helium: It is a gas used for scuba diving tanks and inflating balloons
Oxygen: It is found on earth and it is needed to breath air
Carbon dioxide: It is a gas that is heavier than air. It is used in fire extinguishers and sodas
Hydrogen: It is a dangerous gas that can catch on fire easily
Neon: It is a colorless odorless gas that is used in tubes and sign to make things glow
Chemistry Basics: Matter Educational Activities, 2002 . Full Video. Discovery Education. Web. 27 September 2012. <
Lewis, Peter and Ryles, Briony Introducing chemistry, atoms, molecules, and states of matter. Tucson, AZ: Brown Bear Books, c2010. Print
“Looking for a Gas.” CHEM4KIDS. States of matter c 2012.web 27th September.web
National geographic Society. The Nature of Matter. Columbus: Glencoe McGraw hill c2002. Print
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"