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Chemistry LibreTexts

12: Solids

  • Page ID
    6373
  • In this chapter, we turn our attention to the structures and properties of solids. The solid state is distinguished from the gas and liquid states by a rigid structure in which the component atoms, ions, or molecules are usually locked into place. In many solids, the components are arranged in extended three-dimensional patterns, producing a wide range of properties that can often be tailored to specific functions. Thus diamond, an allotrope of elemental carbon, is one of the hardest materials known, yet graphite, another allotrope of carbon, is a soft, slippery material used in pencil lead and as a lubricant. Metallic sodium is soft enough to be cut with a dull knife, but crystalline sodium chloride turns into a fine powder when struck with a hammer.