Gas vs Liquid: Difference and Comparison

All the things we see around us are constituted of living or non-living. However, no matter whether it is biotic or abiotic, everything that surrounds us is made up of matter. Anything which has some mass and it occupies space is defined as matter. There exist three types or forms of matter.

They are gases, liquids, and solids. In this article, we will detail the difference between the two fluid forms of matter, gases and liquid. However, the basic difference lies in their difference in shape, the volume they possess, how hard they are, and examining their capacity to flow.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gas is a state of matter where the molecules are widely spaced and free to move, while liquid is where the molecules are close together and have limited freedom to move.
  2. Gas can be compressed easily and occupies more space, while liquids are relatively incompressible and take up less space.
  3. Gases have no definite shape or volume, while liquids have a substantial book but no definite shape.

Gas vs Liquid

Gas is a state of matter characterized by molecules that are widely spaced, move freely, and have no fixed shape or volume, there is a weak attractive force between the molecules. The liquid is a state of matter characterized by molecules that are close together, move more slowly, and have a definite volume but no fixed shape.

Gas vs Liquid

The characteristic of gas is characterized by its ability to lack a definite shape or even size. And it takes the shape of the container in which it is placed in. Among all the states of matter, the energy of the gas is the highest.

The molecular arrangement in gas is sparsely arranged, however, random in characteristic. There is a minimum force of attraction between the molecules of a gas.

Liquid has a definite value of volume. However, it has no definite shape. Liquid possesses a medium amount of energy. The molecules in a liquid are less sparsely arranged. There is a medium attraction between the molecules of a liquid.

The molecules of liquid move according to the Brownian motion. A container is needed to store liquids. It has a definite volume but lacks a fixed shape.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGasLiquid
DefinitionGas has no definite shape or size. However, it confines the shape of the container it is placed in.Liquid has a definite value of volume, but it has no definite shape.
Energy PossessedHighestMedium
Molecular arrangementMore sparsely arranged.Less sparsely arranged.
Attraction Between the MoleculesMinimumMedium
Movement Of MoleculesFree, stagnant and random.Brownian motion.
StorageGases need to store in a closed container.A container is needed for storage purposes.
CompressionEasily compressedNeeds efforts for compressing
Direction of flowFlow in almost all directions.Flow from high level to low level.
Intermolecular spaceLargeMore
Speed of sound Lowest among all the three states of matter.Faster than gas but slower than solid.
Shape, Size, VolumeNo fixed volume or shape.Definite volume lacking a fixed shape.

What is Gas?

Gases do not possess a definite volume which is because of the kind of molecular structure they have. Gases flow more randomly, easily, and fast in all directions. However, generally, gases move more from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas.

For example, the smell of perfume and incense sticks can also be detected from a distance. Gases are not hard. Examples of gases are CNG, LPG, Carbon diode, Oxygen, and water vapor.

The molecules of gases move freely, constantly, and randomly. Gases need to be stored in a container that is closed. It has no fixed volume or fixed shape and can be easily compressed.

In almost all directions, gas flows. The intermolecular space in the gas is large. The speed of sound of gas is the lowest in comparison to solids and liquids.

Gas

What is Liquid?

Liquids need an ample amount of force to get compressed. Liquids tend to flow from high level to low level. Thus they are categorized as ” fluids.” The intermolecular space in the liquid is more than in gas.

The speed of the sound of liquid is faster than gas but slower than solid. Liquids are not hard until they are frozen.

As the intermolecular force of attraction in liquids is medium, thus the molecules move easily and more freely within the liquid in comparison to the solid. This simultaneously results in giving the liquid a fixed volume and a definite shape.

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Water, the most basic example of a liquid, becomes hard as ice when kept in a refrigerator and frozen below 0 degrees Celsius. Juices and oil are some other examples of liquids.

Liquid

Main Differences Between Gas and Liquid

  1. Gas has no definite shape or size. However, it confines the shape of the container it is placed in. On the other hand, liquid has a definite value of volume but no definite shape.
  2. The energy of the gas is the highest. However, the energy of the liquid is medium.
  3. The molecular arrangement in the case of gas is sparsely arranged but random in characteristic. However, in the case of liquid, the molecules are less sparsely arranged.
  4. The attraction in between the molecules of a gas is minimum, and the same attraction is medium in the case of liquids.
  5. The molecules of gases move in a free, stagnant and random manner. However, the molecules of liquid move in the Brownian motion.
  6. Gases need to store in a closed container. However, in the case of liquid, a container is needed for storage purposes.
  7. Gas has no fixed volume or shape. On the other hand, liquid has a definite volume lacking a fixed shape.
  8. Gas can be easily compressed. However, liquids need force to get compressed.
  9. Gases flow in almost all directions. However, liquids flow from high level to low level.
  10. The intermolecular space in the case of gas is large, whereas in the case of liquid is more.
  11. The speed of sound of gas is the lowest among all the three states of matter that exist. However, in the case of liquid, it is faster than gas but slower than solid.
Difference Between Gas and Liquid
References
  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp027123l
  2. https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.48.587

Last Updated : 17 June, 2023

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29 thoughts on “Gas vs Liquid: Difference and Comparison”

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