Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas, and plasma). It is characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume. Unlike a liquid, a solid object does not flow to take on the shape of its container, nor does it expand to fill the entire volume available to it like a gas does. The atoms in a solid are tightly bound to each other, either in a regular geometric lattice (crystalline solids, which include metals and ordinary water ice) or irregularly (an amorphous solid such as common window glass).
The branch of physics that deals with solids is called solid-state physics, and is the main branch of condensed matter physics (which also includes liquids). Materials science is primarily concerned with the physical and chemical properties of solids. Solid-state chemistry is especially concerned with the synthesis of novel materials, as well as the science of identification and chemical composition.
Famous quotes containing the word solid:
“It is a sign of our times, conspicuous to the coarsest observer, that many intelligent and religious persons withdraw themselves from the common labors and competitions of the market and the caucus, and betake themselves to a certain solitary and critical way of living, from which no solid fruit has yet appeared to justify their separation.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“London ... remains a mans city where New York is chiefly a womans. London has whole streets that cater to mens wants. It has its great solid phalanx of fortress clubs.”
—Louis Kronenberger (19041980)
“If a marriage is going to work well, it must be on a solid footing, namely money, and of that commodity it is the girl with the smallest dowry who, to my knowledge, consumes the most, to infuriate her husband. All the same, it is only fair that the marriage should pay for past pleasures, since it will scarcely procure any in the future.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)