A solid in chemistry and physics is a phase of matter[[1]] of matter[[2]] characterized by resistance to deformation and to changes of volume.

At the microscopic scale, a solid has these properties:

  • The atoms[[3]] or molecules[[4]] that comprise the solid are packed close together.
  • These constituent elements have fixed positions [[5]]in space relative to each other. This accounts for the solid's rigidity.
    • If sufficient force is applied, either of these properties can be violated, causing permanent deformation.
  • Because any solid has some thermal energy, its atoms vibrate. However, this movement is very small and very rapid, and cannot be observed under ordinary conditions.

The branch of physics[[6]] that deals with solids is called solid-state physics[[7]], and is a type of condensed matter physics [[8]]. Materials science[[9]] is primarily concerned with properties of solids such as strength and phase[[10]] transformations. It overlaps strongly with solid state physics. Solid-state chemistry[[11]] overlaps both of these fields, but is especially concerned with the synthesis of novel materials.

The lightest known solid is man-made and is called aerogel. The lightest aerogel produced has a density of 1.9 mg per cm3 or 1.9 kg/m3 (526.3 times lighter than water).

See alsoEdit

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