'An understanding of the forces which occur between molecules is important in explaining the physical properties of simple molecular substances'.I need to write an essay on this question. Can some...

'An understanding of the forces which occur between molecules is important in explaining the physical properties of simple molecular substances'.

I need to write an essay on this question. Can some one please tell me the things i need to talk about to achieve full marks (25 marks). Thanks!

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Okay, so let us talk about the intermolecular forces that cause the physical states of matter, or whether substances exist as a solid, liquid, gas, or plasma.  For solids, the intermolecular forces are quite restrictive, binding the molecules of substances that exist naturally as solids into tight, fixed, spatial relationships.  This is what makes solids "solid", their molecules are unyielding, fixed into a tight spatial pattern.  Liquids, on the other hand, have their molecules arranged in close proximity to each other, but do not exist as fixed spatial arrangements as do their solid counterparts.  That is why water will hold the shape of its container as long as it is in the container, but the minute you tip the container over, it pours out and assumes whatever shape it contacts.  Gases, unlike solids and liquids, have little intermolecular attraction between themselves, and can only be contained within an enclosed container.  Plasma, a fourth state of matter, occurs when highly ionized gases are at high temperatures.  Due to the attractive and repulsive charges contained in the ions, this places the molecules of plasmas in a special fourth category.

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