Liquid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, gas, and plasma), and is the only state with a definite volume but no fixed shape. A liquid is made up of tiny vibrating particles of matter, such as atoms and molecules, held together by intramolecular bonds. Water is, by far, the most common liquid on Earth. Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly constant density. A distinctive property of the liquid state is surface tension, leading to wetting phenomena.
The density of a liquid is usually close to that of a solid, and much higher than in a gas. Therefore, liquid and solid are both termed condensed matter. On the other hand, as liquids and gases share the ability to flow, they are both called fluids. Although liquid water is abundant on Earth, this state of matter is actually the least common in the known universe, because liquids require a relatively narrow temperature/pressure range to exist. Most known matter in the universe is in gaseous form (with traces of detectable solid matter) as interstellar clouds or in plasma form within stars.
Famous quotes containing the word liquid:
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heavens last best gift, my ever new delight,
Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us: we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colors, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.”
—John Milton (16081674)
“Taking a good mouthful, I felt as though I had taken liquid fire; the tomato was chile colorado, or red pepper, of the purest kind. It nearly killed me, and I saw Gómez eyes twinkle for he saw that his share of supper was increased.”
—For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“Telephone poles were matchsticks, put there to be snapped off at a whim. Dogs trotting across the road were suddenly big trucks. Old ladies turned into movingvans. Everything was too bright, but very funny and made for my delight. And about half a mile from my long liquid breakfast I turned carefully down a side street and parked, and sat beaming happily through the tannic fog for about an hour, remembering how witty we all had been, how handsome and talented ... [ellipsis in original]”
—M.F.K. Fisher (19081992)