Home > Intermolecular Forces, Liquids, and... > Introduction >
Intermolecular Forces, Liquids, and...

The water vapor—or humidity—in air, the water in a lake, and the ice in a glacier are all forms of the same substance, H2O. They all have the same chemical properties. Their physical properties differ greatly, however, because the physical properties of a substance depend on its physical state. Some of the characteristic properties of each of the states of matter are listed in Table 11.1. In Chapter 10 we discussed the gaseous state in some detail. In this chapter we turn our attention to the physical properties of liquids and solids.

Many of the substances that we will consider are molecular. In fact, virtually all substances that are liquids at room temperature are molecular. The forces within molecules that give rise to covalent bonding influence molecular shape, bond energies, and many aspects of chemical behavior. The physical properties of molecular liquids and solids, however, are due largely to intermolecular forces, the forces that exist between molecules. We learned in Section 10.9 that attractions between gas molecules lead to deviations from ideal-gas behavior. But how do these intermolecular attractions arise? By understanding the nature and strength of intermolecular forces, we can begin to relate the composition and structure of molecules to their physical properties.

Copyright © 1995-2010, Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall Legal and Privacy Terms