Steel, plastic and wood are solids at room temperature. Ice is solid water. The particles in a solid are:

  • close together
  • arranged in a regular way
Solid particles are close together in a regular pattern.Particles in a solid

Strong forces, called bonds, attract the particles towards each other. This means that the particles in a solid:

  • can vibrate in a fixed position
  • cannot move from place to place

The table shows some of the properties of solids and why they are like this:

They have a fixed shape and cannot flowThe particles cannot move from place to place
They cannot be compressed (squashed)The particles are close together and have no space to move into

Solids such as concrete are useful for buildings and their foundations because they cannot be compressed.