How would you describe the movement of atoms in a solid? liquid? gas?

1 Answer
Apr 5, 2017

Solid: Low kinetic energy

Liquid: Medium kinetic energy

Gas: High kinetic energy


Solid: Particles are closely connected in a crystal lattice, vibrate slightly on the spot
->Has a definite shape and volume

Liquid: Particles roll over one another, can move around, some space between particles
->Has a definite volume but no definite shape

Gas: Particles can move all over the place, spread far apart
->Has no definite shape or volume

Remember: On of the postulates in the particle theory of matter: particles move faster and spread out farther when heated.

This is why when you heat water, steam starts to form: the particles of the liquid water are moving faster (higher kinetic energy) and are spreading out farther. Eventually (at approx. 100 degrees) they move so fast ad spread out so far that there is a change in state, and a gas forms.