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Chemistry LibreTexts

11: Liquids and Intermolecular Forces

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  • The physical properties of a substance depends upon its physical state. Water vapor, liquid water and ice all have the same chemical properties, but their physical properties are considerably different. In general Covalent bonds determine: molecular shape, bond energies, chemical properties, while intermolecular forces (non-covalent bonds) influence the physical properties of liquids and solids. The kinetic molecular theory of gases described in Chapter 10 gives a reasonably accurate description of the behavior of gases. A similar model can be applied to liquids, but it must take into account the nonzero volumes of particles and the presence of strong intermolecular attractive forces.

      Thumbnail: A water drop. Image used with permission (CC BY 2.0; José Manuel Suárez).

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