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Chemistry LibreTexts

8: Solids, Liquids, and Gases

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  • Most of us are familiar with the three phases of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. Indeed, we addressed the energy changes involved in phase changes. The picture on this page shows the substance we are probably most familiar with as having those three phases: water. In everyday life, we commonly come in contact with water as a solid (ice), as a liquid, and as a gas (steam). All we have to do is change the conditions of the substance—typically temperature—and we can change the phase from solid to liquid to gas and back again. Under the proper conditions of temperature and pressure, many substances—not only water—can experience the three different phases. An understanding of the phases of matter is important for our understanding of all matter. In this chapter, we will explore the three phases of matter.

    • 8.1: Intermolecular Interactions
      A phase is a form of matter that has the same physical properties throughout. Molecules interact with each other through various forces: ionic and covalent bonds, dipole-dipole interactions, hydrogen bonding, and dispersion forces.
    • 8.2: Solids and Liquids
      Solids and liquids are phases that have their own unique properties.
    • 8.3 Gases and Pressure
      The gas phase has certain general properties characteristic of that phase.
    • 8.4: Gas Laws
      The physical properties of gases are predictable using mathematical formulas known as gas laws.
    • 8.E: Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Exercises)
      Problems and select solutions to this chapter.
    • 8.S: Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Summary)
      To ensure that you understand the material in this chapter, you should review the meanings of the following bold terms in the following summary and ask yourself how they relate to the topics in the chapter.