Question Video: Matching Each State of Matter with the Correct Description of Its Volume and Shape Science

The table describes the shape and volume for each state of matter. What is the correct pairing between each column and state of matter?

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Video Transcript

The table below describes the shape and volume for each state of matter. What is the correct pairing between each column and state of matter? (A) A: solid, B: liquid, C: gas. (B) A: gas, B: solid, C: liquid. (C) A: liquid, B: solid, C: gas. (D) A: liquid, B: gas, C: solid. (E) A: solid, B: gas, C: liquid.

To answer the question, we need to take a closer look at the three states of matter provided: solids, liquids, and gases. In a solid, there are strong forces between the particles that keep the particles tightly packed together. These particles have energy and do move, but they essentially stay in one spot as they vibrate and rotate. Because of the tightly packed nature of solid particles, moving a solid from one container to another does not affect its shape or its volume. In other words, a solid has a definite volume and a definite shape, which matches the characteristics described in column B.

In a liquid, there are strong forces between the particles, but these forces tend to be weaker than the forces between the particles in a solid. As the forces aren’t quite as strong, the particles in a liquid are less tightly packed. Liquid particles move about more rapidly than solid particles. When a liquid is transferred from one container to another, it will occupy the same volume but will take the shape of the container it is in. In other words, a liquid has a definite volume and a shape that matches the container. These characteristics match those described in column A.

There are weak forces between the particles in a gas. So the particles are not kept close together and are well separated from one another. The particles in a gas move much more rapidly than the particles in a liquid or solid. Because gas particles are not tightly packed and move about rapidly, gases can fill all of the parts of a sealed container and end up with the same volume and shape as the sealed container. In other words, gases do not have a definite volume and take the shape of the container they are in, which matches the characteristics described in column C.

From our discussion, we can see that the answer choice that correctly pairs each column with the appropriate state of matter is answer choice (C): A: liquid, B: solid, C: gas.