Does a solid, liquid or gas expand/contract faster?Why?

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kjcdb8er | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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A gas expands and contracts faster than a solid or liquid. The reason for this has to do with the molecular interactions. In a gas, each molecule is not influenced by others around it except for collisions between molecules. Therefore it is free to expand or contract. In a solid, however, the molecules are in rigid contact with one another, and have strong bonds holding the molecules together. To "expand" a solid these bonds have to be broken, which requires more energy than in the case of a gas. To contract a solid, repulsive forces due to the molecules being in contact with each other must be overcome, which also requires additional energy. A liquid is similar to a solid in that the molecules are in contact with neighboring molecules, although the bonds that attract them to each other are not as strong.

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acompanioninthetardis | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Gas contacts or expands faster then a solid or liquid because gas molecules are usually roaming freely, whereas liquid and solid molecules are tighter and more held together. Gas molecules have more room to expand and contract because they usually roam around freely and are not restricted to a smaller space like solids or liquids. 

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Yes, gas expands and contracts faster than solid and liquid. This is due to the fact that that the molecules have been colliding together in high speed, like molecules interacting with one another and so the wall would have repeated collisions a couple of times (or many to be precise) and cause it to expand faster. The opposite would be for contraction. For solid, you need to overcome attractive forces between the molecules, and the "bonds" must be broken to break apart the strong intermolecular forces and that would require lots of energy to handle. In liquid, the particles are less closely packed than solids but slide over one another, so the force between them is weaker.

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jaangow | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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 gas expands and contracts faster than a solid or liquid. The reason for this has to do with the molecular interactions. In a gas, each molecule is not influenced by others around it

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