States of Matter: Characteristics of Solids

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 14th December, 2019 @ 18:50: PM

Topics in Chemistry

Le Chatelier's Principle: Changes in Concentration and Pressure explained in Dynamic Equilibrium Chemical Equilibrium: Dynamic Equilibrium in Chemistry Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their Differences Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Compounds in Chemistry: Characteristics of Compounds Types of Mixture: Homogenous and Heterogeneous Mixtures Mixtures: Characteristics of Mixtures Physical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Chemical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Differences between Physical and Chemical Change Ionic Theory and Electrolysis Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids States of Matter: Characteristics of Solids Liquid State of Matter: Characteristics of Liquids Gaseous State of Matter: Characteristics of Gases Molar Mass, Worked Examples and Differences with Molecular Mass Elements: Characteristics of Elements Salts and Types of Salt in Chemistry

Academic Questions in Chemistry

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The Separating Funnel is a technique used in the separation of mixtures. Another name for Separating Funnel is the _____ Funnel.

  • A. Partition
  • B. Separatory
  • C. Division
  • D. Liquid
  • E. Half
  • F. Dividing

2NH4+(aq) + Ag+(aq) -> 2H4AgN

The equation above represents _____ acid.

  • A. Svante Arrhenius'

  • B. Brønsted–Lowry's

  • C. Gilbert Lewis'

  • D. Avogadro's

  • E. Sir Isaac Newton's

  • F. Albert Einstein's

According to Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry, an acid is defined as _____.

  • A. Any substance that produces hydrogen ion (H+) when dissolved in water

  • B. A substance that accepts electron pair in a chemical reaction

  • C. A substance that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water

  • D. A substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction

  • E. A substance that reacts with a base to form salt and water

  • F. A substance whose hydrogen ions  (H+) are displaced after a reaction with metals higher in the activity, reactivity or electrochemical series

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of chemical change?

  • A. A new thing is formed
  • B. It cannot be easily separated into it's constituents elements
  • C. A new chemical formula accompanies whatever is formed
  • D. The burning of candle is an example of a chemical change
  • E. Blood is an example of a chemical change
  • F. Iron rust is an example of a chemical change

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning a physical change _____.

  • A. Substances formed in a physical change have a unique chemical formula and IUPAC name
  • B. It's a change that is easily reversible
  • C. It's a change that can be separated via an appropriate separation technique
  • D. No new substance is formed
  • E. A mixture of salt and water is a physical change
  • F. Physical change can result to a change in color and shapes of substances

The following substances will sublime EXCEPT _____.

  • A. Sodium Cryolite
  • B. Solid Carbon(IV)oxide
  • C. Arsenic
  • D. Sulphur
  • E. Iodine Crystals
  • F. Naphthalene

Which of the following is a state of matter?

  • A. Ions
  • B. Plasma
  • C. Compounds
  • D. Molecules
  • E. Atoms
  • F. None of the above

The ideal way of separating a mixture of blood is through _____.

  • A. Chromatography
  • B. Fractional Distillation
  • C. Centrifugation
  • D. Filtration
  • E. Separating Funnel
  • F. Fractional Crystallization



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States of Matter:

Matter exists in four states. They are:

  1. Solid
  2. Liquid
  3. Gas
  4. Plasma

All matter is made up of atoms.

Please read on the Concept of Matter here.

Note: An understanding on relationship between atoms and particles will give you a better insight on the states of matter. Below is a brief explanation:

  • An atom is defined the smallest part (particle) of an element that can take part in a chemical reaction.

Consider the simple experiment below:

From your salt pack at home, attempt to pick out the smallest single salt particle in it. If you can do that, then you may have probably succeeded in picking out an atom of the salt; that is (the smallest particle of the salt).

The above concept of particles (and atoms) will be used to explain the solid state of matter.

Please read on Modifications of Dalton's Atomic Theory here.

Solid State of Matter

Solids are substances whose atoms or particles are tightly packed together, and as a result, they have a definite shape.

There is a strong force of attraction that exists around the solid particles, thus holding them together.

Please read on the Liquid State of Matter and its Characteristics here.

You will not be able to put your fingers through a solid, unless you separate it's tightly packed particles; perhaps by grinding the solid. (This instance can be seen in a sugar cube or maggi cube. We will need to grind its particles before we can put our hands through them).

In the case of the maggi cube (above), we will usually expose each of its particles or atoms into our food by grinding it. This will enable each particle of the maggi to easily dissolve into the food.

Note: If you wish to see the atoms in solids, you have to grind such solids into their finest particles.

Please read read on Physical Properties of Metals here.

Although the atoms in solids are tightly packed together, we still have got tiny spaces between them. Based on this fact, the more tightly packed solids are (that is; the smaller the spaces between its particle), the more dense (heavy) they are likely to be.

The density of solids will also depend on the type of element that they are made up of. For instance, Iron (Fe) and Sodium (Na) are solid elements, but Iron will be denser than sodium because its atoms has a larger mass than those of sodium.

Please read on Density and Specific Gravity here.

The image below shows the closely arranged particles (atoms) in solids:

Particles of Solid - Len Academy
Structure of Solid Atoms

Note: There is no point compressing a solid because the particles are already tightly packed together. (To compress means to bring more closer the particles that makes up a substance).

You can read on some Interesting Facts on the Gold (Solid) here.

Characteristics of Solids

  1. They have definite shape and volume.
  2. Their particles are closely packed together, hence they are usually incompressible.
  3. Their particle possesses very little energy for movement and rotational motion.
  4. Their particles exhibit vibrational motion within their position.
  5. The particles of crystalline solids are orderly arranged while those of amorphous solids aren't arranged orderly.

Please read on Gases and their Characteristics here.

Examples of crystalline solids include common salt, sugar and sulphur while rubber, plastics and glass are amorphous solids.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Chemistry

The only letters that failed to appear on the periodic table are letters:

J     &     Q

Gold and copper are the only two non-silvery colored metals.

Please read some interesting facts about gold here

Copper is the only metal that is naturally antibacterial. This is why you would see some children utilize 'copper' water bottles in schools

Water actually freezes faster when it’s warm than when it’s cold

Most element in their pure state exists physically in different forms. For instance, pure carbon can exist as both diamond and graphite. This phenomenon is called allotropy.

Please read on modification of Dalton's atomic theory here.

If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will go down rather than overflowing the glass.

Similarly, if you mix half liter of water and half litre of alcohol, the total volume of the liquid will be les than one litre


Gold ; Len Academy

Below are some facts about gold

  • It is the only metal that has a gold (golden) color.

  • Gold is present inside the earth crust in all the seven continents.

  • Pure gold is soft and very stretchable (It can even be stretched into threads).

  • The Latin name of Gold is aurum which means 'shining dawn'. For this reason, its chemical symbol is 'Au'.

  • Gold is a very good conductor of electricity. This is why it’s sometimes used in making USB and audio cables.

  • Gold is non toxic and can be eaten with food. It is sometimes added to desserts in some expensive restaurants.

  • The term Gold originated from an ancient English word 'geolu' which means yellow.

  • 24karat gold is the purest gold element.

Please read more interesting facts about gold here

An acid is a substance that produces Hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water (or when in the form of an aqueous solution).

Svante Arrhenius definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction.

Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that accept an electron pair in a chemical reaction.

Gilbert Newton Lewis definition of Acid


Finally, Acids can also be also defined as substances that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water.


In summary, all acids will always contain the positive H+ (cation) and an anionic group in their formula. For instance, the acid HCl (Hydrogen Chloride) contains H+ as cation and Cl- as its anion.

Please read the explanations of the above definitions of acid here