Solid State             

The outstanding macroscopic properties of gases are compressibility and fluidity. In contrast, the most noticeable macroscopic features of crystalline solids are rigidity, incompressibility and characteristic geometry. Thus the extremes of molecular behaviour occur in gases and solids. In the former we have molecular chaos and vanishing intermolecular forces, and in the latter we have an ordered arrangement in which the interatomic forces are large.

A solid is defined as that form of matter which possesses rigidity and hence possesses a definite shape and a definite volume.
Unlike gases and liquids in which the molecules are free to move about and hence constitute fluid state, in a solids the constituent particles are not free to move but oscillate about their fixed positions.

Characteristic properties of the solids

  • They have definite mass, volume and shape.

  • Intermolecular distances are short.

  • Intermolecular forces are strong.

  • Their constituent particles (atoms, molecules or ions) have fixed positions and can only oscillate about their mean positions.

  • They are incompressible and rigid.

We shall find that the explanation of these macroscopic properties in terms of the atomic theory which involves the idea of lattice: a permanent ordered arrangement of atoms held together by forces of considerable magnitude under the following sub topics of solid state chemistry:

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