(a) Tabulate the differences in the characteristics of states of matter.

(b) Comment upon the following: rigidity, compressibility, fluidity, filling a gas container, shape, kinetic energy, and density.

(a) The differences in the characteristics of states of matter are given in the following table.

S. No.

Solid state

Liquid state

Gaseous state


Definite shape and volume.

No definite shape. Liquids attain the shape of the vessel in which they are kept.

Gases have neither a definite shape nor a definite volume.



Compressible to a small extent.

Highly compressible


There is little space between the particles of a solid.

These particles have a greater space between them.

The space between gas particles is the greatest.


These particles attract each other very strongly.

The force of attraction between liquid particles is less than solid particles.

The force of attraction is least between gaseous particles.


Particles of solid cannot move freely.

These particles move freely.

Gaseous particles are in a continuous, random motion.

(b) Rigidity can be expressed as the tendency of matter to resist a change in shape.

Compressibility is the ability to be reduced to a lower volume when force is applied.

Fluidity is the ability to flow.

By filling a gas container we mean the attainment of shape of the container by gas.

Shape defines a definite boundary.

Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a particle due to its motion.

Density is mass per unit volume.

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