Definition of Liquid

What is a Liquid?

Liquids are one of the four common states of matter - the others are solids, gases, and plasmas. In general, but not in all specific cases, as the temperature increases and pressure decreases substances pass through the four different states.

solid → liquid → gas → plasma
The Liquid State

The liquid state of matter is characterized by the following properties:

  • its volume is fixed; it will not expand to fill a container - unlike gases and plasmas
  • most liquids are incompressible - their volume hardly changes when pressure changes - unlike gases and plasmas
  • liquids are fluids, so they can flow. Provided there is gravity, their shapes adapt to that of their containers - unlike solids
  • liquids are condensed matter, so their volumes are similar to those of solids, and much smaller than gases and plasmas

Definition for liquid aerosol: A colloidal suspension of liquid in gas.

Definition for liquid crystal: A substance that has liquid-like long-range disorder but some crystal-like aspects of short-range order.

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