Nachtrieb, Norman H. Formerly, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Thermodynamic relations
- Transport properties
- Theoretical explanations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A state of matter intermediate between that of crystalline solids and gases. Macroscopically, liquids are distinguished from crystalline solids in their capacity to flow under the action of extremely small shear stresses and to conform to the shape of a confining vessel. Liquids differ from gases in possessing a free surface and in lacking the capacity to expand without limit. On the scale of molecular dimensions liquids lack the long-range order that characterizes the crystalline state, but nevertheless they possess a degree of structural regularity that extends over distances of a few molecular diameters. In this respect, liquids are wholly unlike gases, whose molecular organization is completely random.
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