Particle arrangement in matter



•      In solids, the particles are tightly packed in a rigid pattern and so cannot move away from each other.

Figure 2: Particle arrangement in solid state

•      This is why solids generally have a fixed shape.

       For example: pen, pencil, wood, bottle, steel, etc.

•      A solid has fixed size and shape.



•      In liquids, the particles are not as tightly packed as in solids; so they can move and slide over each other.

Figure 3: Particle arrangement in liquid state

•      This makes liquids flow and take the shape of the container they are poured in.

       For example: milk, oil, water, etc.

•      Liquids have size or volume.

•      Liquids do not have a definite shape.

•      They take the shape of the container.



•      In gases, the particles are far apart from each other and can move freely.

Figure 4: Particle arrangement in gaseous state

•      So, gases can flow easily and take up all the available space.

       For example: oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, helium, carbon, etc.

•      Gases cannot be seen.

•      A gas is a matter that has no shape or size of its own.