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Kinetic Particle Theory and States of Matter

Solid Liquid Gas

• Disorderly
Arrangement of • Orderly • Disorderly
• Less closely
particles • Closely packed • Very far apart
packed
Attractive
forces between Very strong Strong Very weak
particles
Kinetic energy
Very low Low High
of particles
Move rapidly in any
Vibrate and rotate Slide over one direction
Motion of
about fixed another throughout
particles
positions the liquid

Diagram

Solid (a) Why does a solid have a fixed shape?


Particles of a solid are held together in fixed positions by very strong
forces of attraction. These particles cannot slide over each other. Thus,
a solid has a fixed shape.

(b) Why does a solid have a fixed volume?


A solid cannot be compressed because its particles are very close
together. Thus, its volume does not change when pressure is applied
Liquid (c) Why does a liquid NOT have a fixed shape?
Particles of a liquid are not held in fixed positions. They can slide over
one another to take the shape of the container.

(d) Why does a liquid have a fixed volume?


The forces of attraction between liquid particles are considerably strong.
Particles are still quite closely packed. Thus, a liquid cannot be
compressed and its volume does not change under pressure.
Gas (e) Why does a gas NOT have a fixed shape?
The forces of attraction between gas particles are very weak. Particles
have high kinetic energy and are not held in fixed positions. They can
move about freely and rapidly.

(f) Why does a gas NOT have a fixed volume?


Particles of gas are far apart. There is a large amount of empty space
between them that is compressible under pressure.
Heating curve Cooling curve
Temperature
Temperature

Z
P
Y Q

X R
S
W
V
T

Time
Time

Region V: Substance is solid. Temperature is increasing. Region P: Substance is gas. Temperature is decreasing.

Region W: Substance is melting, changing from solid to liquid. Temperature Region Q: Substance is condensing, changing from gas to liquid.
remains constant. Temperature remains constant.

Region X: Substance is liquid. Temperature is increasing. Region R: Substance is liquid. Temperature is decreasing.

Region Y: Substance is boiling, changing from liquid to gaseous. Region S: Substance is freezing, changing from liquid to solid. Temperature
Temperature remains constant. remains constant.

Region Z: Substance is gas. Temperature continues to increase. Region T: Substance is solid. Temperature continues to drop till room
temperature.
freezing condensation
solid liquid gas
melting boiling/ evaporation

sublimation

Note: Memorise the three


substances that sublimes! take in energy
1. Carbon dioxide (Dry ice)
2. Iodine give out energy
3. Ammonium chloride

Model answer for common question(s)

Question 1
Describe the changes in the arrangement and movement of the particles when it is
heated from ………A……….to ………B……….

Thinking process:
1. What are the physical states (solid or liquid or gases) at A and B?
2. Use the correct keywords for arrangement and movement in the sentence structure
below:

Answer
From being ……………………………………. at solid/liquid/gaseous state, the
particles changes to ……………………….………………. at solid/liquid/gaseous state.

Question 2a
Explain why temperature remains constant during melting/boiling.

Answer
Heat energy is taken in to overcome intermolecular bonds. Hence the average
kinetic energy of the particles remains the same.

Question 2b
Explain why temperature remains constant during freezing/condensation.

Answer
Heat energy is given out to form intermolecular bonds. Hence the average kinetic
energy of the particles remains the same.
Question 3
Explain why a solid generally has a higher density than its liquid and gaseous states.

Answer
Particles in solid are very closely packed whereas particle in gases are far apart.
Hence, there are more particles in the same volume of solid compared to gas.

Question 4
Explain why gases can be compressed whereas liquids cannot be compressed.

Answer
Particle in gases are far apart, hence there is a large amount of empty space that
allows gases to be compressed. Particles in solids are closely packed, and cannot be
compressed.

Question 5
Explain why solids have fixed shapes whereas liquids takes the shape of the container
it is in.

Answer
Particles in solid are held in fixed positions and hence, cannot flow. Particles in liquid
are free to move and able to slide over each other.