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13: States of Matter

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    In Chapter 9, we discussed the properties of gases. Here, we consider some properties of liquids and solids. As a review, the Table below lists some general properties of the three phases of matter.

    Phase Shape Density Compressibility
    Gas fills entire container low high
    Liquid fills a container from bottom to top high low
    Solid rigid high low

    • 13.1: Phase Properties
      Unlike gases, liquids and solids have few properties that can be used to describe all samples. All liquids evaporate. Solids can be divided into amorphous solids and crystalline solids.
    • 13.2: Evaporation and Condensation
      Evaporation is the conversion of a liquid to its vapor below the boiling temperature of the liquid. Condensation is the change of state from a gas to a liquid. As the temperature increases, the rate of evaporation increases.
    • 13.3: Melting, Freezing, Sublimation, and Deposition
      Melting is the conversion of a solid to a liquid. When a solid is converted directly to a gas, the process is known as sublimation. The reverse processes are freezing and deposition, respectively. The temperature at which these conversions occur depends on the attractive forces holding the molecules together.
    • 13.4: Energetics of Phase Changes
      Phase changes can occur between any two phases of matter. All phase changes occur with a simultaneous change in energy. All phase changes are isothermal.
    • 13.5: Electronegativity and Polarity
      Covalent bonds can be nonpolar or polar, depending on the electronegativities of the atoms involved. Molecules as a whole can also be described as nonpolar or polar, depending on the symmetry of the molecule and polarity of its bonds.
    • 13.6: Polarity and Properties
      The overall polarity of a molecule has an impact on the behavior of the molecule itself. Polar molecules tend to have higher melting points and boiling points than nonpolar molecules of a similar size. In addition, solutes tend to dissolve in solvents which have similar polarities to the solute.
    • 13.7: Intermolecular Forces
      All substances experience dispersion forces between their particles. Substances that are polar experience dipole-dipole interactions. Substances with covalent bonds between an H atom and N, O, or F atoms experience hydrogen bonding. The preferred phase (solid, liquid, or gas) of a substance and the temperature at which phase changes occur depend on the strength of the intermolecular force and the energy of the particles.
    • 13.8: For Future Use
    • 13.E: Exercises


    Thumbnail Chapter 13: Ice water. (hamasakihaus via Giphy)

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