- A state of matter which is approximately intermediate between a gas and a solid. Liquids have a definite volume, like a solid, yet have the tendency to assume the shape of its container, like a gas. A liquid will only occupy the proportion of its container which equals the volume of the liquid, and will seek the lowest level. That is, it will not expand to occupy all the available space, as a gas would. The atoms or molecules composing a liquid have enough thermal energy to move freely, but also have significant intermolecular attraction. Liquids are very hard to compress, and when cooled sufficiently are converted into a solids, while when heated sufficiently into gases. The other physical states in which matter is known to exist are solid (1), gas, plasma, and Bose-Einstein condensates.
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