How do gases compare with liquids and solids in terms of the distance between their molecules ?

Posted on 2007-03-31
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
i am working on a project and i am stuck on this topic.
How do gases compare with liquids and solids in terms of the distance between their molecules ?

Question by:c_hockland
LVL 36

Accepted Solution

Zyloch earned 250 total points
ID: 18831188
Gases molecules are far more apart than solids and liquids. A substance becomes a gas when its molecules have enough energy to escape from any attraction to each other. The collision theory assumes these gas molecules are like little spheres that move randomly and bounce off other objects.

In general, 1 mole of a gas at 0 degrees Celsius and 1 atmosphere of pressure has a volume of 22.4L (low density). Compare that to liquid water, which has a density of about 1 g/mL. 1 mole of liquid water would only be about 18 mL! Liquids and solids are clearly seen to have all their molecules seemingly attached to each other; they are condensed into a small space and are thus distinctly visible with clear boundaries. Gas molecules have no such restrictions.

In particular, if you increase the pressure on a gas enough, the volume decreases, the molecules will not have enough room to move away from each other and will end up sticking to one another. They will in effect become a solid or a liquid. Thus, gas molecules can be seen to be much farther apart than those of solids and liquids.
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

neopolitan earned 250 total points
ID: 18832724
Solid, liquid, gas and plasma are the different states of the matter. Solids hold their shape.The molecules of a solid don't move around very much. They tend to stay relatively close to each other. Liquids donot hold their shape and therefore,they flow. However, at the same temperature,  liquids do keep the same volume. The molecules of a liquid move around relative to each other.  But they are still bound to each other through intermolecular forces.These forces hold liquid molecules together. Gases donot keep their shape or volume. Gas molecules donot interact much and are not held together strongly.
When heat is applied, the kinetic energy of the molecules increase; in a solid, the molecules will start moving around relative to each other, and when this happens, the solid melts to become liquid. If heated further,the liquid  molecules start moving so fast that the intermolecular pressure becomes negligible, the liquid becoming gas.  

The difference between the different states is not just the difference in molecular separation, but also in intermolecular forces and kinetic energies. Kinetic molecular theory of matter explains these points:


Featured Post

Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Sampling 3 65
finding artist from picture(portrait) 5 136
How to write an English digest paper 6 98
Understanding factorial 4 31
How to Win a Jar of Candy Corn: A Scientific Approach! I love mathematics. If you love mathematics also, you may enjoy this tip on how to use math to win your own jar of candy corn and to impress your friends. As I said, I love math, but I gu…
This article seeks to propel the full implementation of geothermal power plants in Mexico as a renewable energy source.
Although Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705) has been credited as the creator of "Binomial Distribution Table", Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) did his dissertation on the subject in 1666; Leibniz you may recall is the co-inventor of "Calculus" and beat Isaac…
Finds all prime numbers in a range requested and places them in a public primes() array. I've demostrated a template size of 30 (2 * 3 * 5) but larger templates can be built such 210  (2 * 3 * 5 * 7) or 2310  (2 * 3 * 5 * 7 * 11). The larger templa…

740 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question