Difference Between Gas and Liquid (With Table)

All the things that we see around us are constituted of either living or non-living. However, no matter it is biotic or abiotic, but everything that surrounds us 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 study the difference between the two fluid forms of matter, gases and liquid, in detail. However, the basic difference lies in their difference in shape, the volume they possess, how hard they are and examining their capacity to flow.

Gas vs Liquid

The difference between gas and liquid is that gas is compressible with ease, but to compress liquids, a considerable amount of force is required. Gas possess the maximum energy, but on the other hand, liquid possesses energy more than solids but less than gases. Among all the three states of matter, the intermolecular or the force in between the molecules of a gas is minimum and more than that in the case of liquid.

The characteristic of gas is characterised 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 matters, 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 in 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 in between the molecules of a liquid. The molecules of liquid generally move according to the Brownian motion. A container is needed to store liquids. It has a definite volume but lacks a fixed shape.

Comparison Table Between Gas and Liquid

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 high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. For example, the smell of perfume, incense sticks can be detected from a distance as well. Gases are generally not hard. Examples of gases constitute CNG, LPG, Carbon diode, Oxygen, water vapour, etc.

The molecules of gases move in a free, constant and random manner. 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.

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 categorised as ” fluids”. The intermolecular space in the liquid is more than gas. The speed of the sound of liquid is faster than gas, but it is 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 solid. This simultaneously results in giving the liquid a fixed volume and a definite shape. Water, the most basic example of liquids is when kept in a refrigerator and frozen below 0 degrees Celsius, becomes hard as ice. Juices, oil are some other examples of liquids.

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 it has 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. How, ever 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.

Conclusion

Gas and liquid are two of the three states of matter. Both liquid and gas are fluids, which means they have the potential to flow. However, there lie several factors based on which these two matters are differentiated from each other. Those factors include the intermolecular force of attraction, intermolecular space, the shape and size they possess, the energy they move with and many more. All of these factors solely depend upon the molecules they are made of.

The characterisation depends upon the variant force of attraction between the molecules of matter constituting them. In gases, the molecules are sparsely arranged; hence the force of attraction is low, and they can be compressed easily. But in the case of liquids, the molecules are less sparsely arranged. Thus the force of attraction between the molecules is more than gases and hence can’t be compressed that easily.

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp027123l
  2. https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.48.587
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