A solid has a definite rigid shape and volume under normal conditions. Its volume
changes only slightly with variations of temperature and pressure.
On examining the periodic table the majority of elements are solid at STP. The only liquids
are Br (Bromine) and Hg (mercury). The only gases are H(Hydrogen), He (Helium), N(Nitrogen), O(Oxygen)
F(flourine),Ne (Neon) Cl(chlorine) Ar (Argon), Kr(Krypron), Xe(Xenon), Ra (Radon).
The solid structure depends upon the bonding (covalent, ionic, metallic etc).
The ideal solid structure is a crystalline one with the molecules arranged in a
regular 3 dimensional pattern or lattice. Amorphous solids including glass,
pitch, and plastics are generally in a state intermediate between solid and liquid.
Detailed notes on the structure of typical crystalline solids is found on webpage
The difference between a solid an a liquid, especially near its melting point is not
great. Often the density of the liquid is similar to the density of the solid
so the packing of the molecules must be similar. Solids have a short range
structure between adjacent molecules and a long range structure with large regular lattice
arrangements. Liquids do not have the same long range structure..
General Properties of Solids
The properties of various representative solids are provided on page Solid properties.
The properties of various representative metals are provided on page Metal properties