Mercury, petrol and water are liquids at room temperature. The particles in a liquid are:

  • close together
  • arranged in a random way
Liquid particles are close together in a random pattern and can move around each other.Particles in a liquid

The particles in a liquid can:

  • move around each other

The attractive forces (bonds) in a liquid are strong enough to keep the particles close together, but weak enough to let them move around each other.

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

They flow and take the shape of the bottom of their containerThe particles can move around each other
They cannot be compressed (squashed)The particles are close together and have no space to move into

Liquids are useful in car brake systems because they flow and cannot be compressed.