Vous êtes ici

Molecular theory

Molecular theory

All matter consists of molecules which are in constant motion, but which are held together by molecular forces. In a solid the molecules are closely packed and arranged in such a pattern that the influence of the molecular forces is very strong. This gives the solid its consistency and form. Molecular motion consists largely of oscillations around points of equilibrium. In a liquid the molecules are about as close as in a solid, but they are not arranged in a lattice and the cohesive forces are weaker. The molecules are more mobile in relation to each other, whereby the characteristic liquid phase develops; the liquid accommodated itself to the walls of the containing vessel, and its free surface aligns itself horizontally in response to the force of gravity. In a gas, however, the molecules are farther apart, and they move freely about each other since the molecular forces are not as strong. A gas therefore expands through space and mixes with other gasses present. The total volume of the molecules in a gas is very small in relation to the volume of the gas. A gas can therefore be compressed into a small part of its original volume. (010)