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Old Sep 26th 2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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Are these statements correct?

Hi Everyone:

I am writing an essay and would appreciate it if you would check the accuracy of these statements, and let me know how you would correct them, if they weren't accurate. Thanks!

Physicists know that the different states of matter are defined at a minute level. A rock is made up of atoms which vibrate at a certain speed. The slower the speed, the more solid the object. This means that molecules which comprise the rock vibrate at a slower speed than those which crystallize to form ice. Ice has a grosser rate of vibration than water, which has a grosser frequency than air, and so on.

-Charles
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Old Sep 26th 2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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I think what you're trying to say is that in general materials made of atoms that have strong bonds tend to have a higher frequency of vibration. However, the frequency of vibration is also affected by the atom's mass (the lighter the element the more rapid the vibration) and temperature. Hence it is not always true that stronger materials have slower vibrations than less strong materials.
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Old Sep 26th 2014, 10:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ChipB View Post
I think what you're trying to say is that in general materials made of atoms that have strong bonds tend to have a higher frequency of vibration. However, the frequency of vibration is also affected by the atom's mass (the lighter the element the more rapid the vibration) and temperature. Hence it is not always true that stronger materials have slower vibrations than less strong materials.
Rather than strength, I am more interested in solidity, and the difference in the vibration or movement of atoms relative to whether they combine to form solids, liquids or gasses...
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Old Sep 26th 2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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You need to define what you mean by "solidity." Also, the nature of a compound like water in its various phases (solid, liquid, gas) have little if anything to do with vibrating hydrogen or oxygen atoms within the H20 molecule. The solid nature of ice has to do with dipole bonding between molecules, which in cold temps causes the water molecules to be locked into a crystaline structure. Add enough heat to break the dipole bonds and the molecules become free to move on their own, resulting in liquid water. So again - liquid water is "less solid" than ice, but not due to vibrating atoms.
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Old Sep 26th 2014, 08:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChipB View Post
You need to define what you mean by "solidity." Also, the nature of a compound like water in its various phases (solid, liquid, gas) have little if anything to do with vibrating hydrogen or oxygen atoms within the H20 molecule. The solid nature of ice has to do with dipole bonding between molecules, which in cold temps causes the water molecules to be locked into a crystaline structure. Add enough heat to break the dipole bonds and the molecules become free to move on their own, resulting in liquid water. So again - liquid water is "less solid" than ice, but not due to vibrating atoms.
I see. That is a very direct response which I appreciate a lot. My impression is that atoms are always vibrating. In the case of a solid they are simply vibrating in place. In the case of a gas or liquid they simply have more room to move around. But what you are saying is that it is the space between atoms that defines their state, not necessarily their movement per se?
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