Potential energy in solids,liquids and gases

In summary, it seems that potential energy is electrical in nature and that even elastic potential would be a result of that reaction at the atomic level.
  • #1
Janiceleong26
276
4

Homework Statement


Is the potential energy between atoms in solids, liquids and gases, elastic or electrical? I've read in some sources that for solids, p.e. > k.e. because it has the strongest intermolecular forces among the three states of matter. So I'm assuming it is elastic potential energy as it involves inter-atomic forces.
But some other sources states that if we heat a stone, it gains both kinetic and electrical potential energy. So is it elastic or electrical?
I'm really confused. Hope to clear this doubt soon .. Thanks in advance !
 
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  • #2
I won't pretend to be educated in molecular theory but it seems reasonable to imagine that electrons are bound to atoms in a gravitational/magnetic field. This could imply that potential energy is electrical in nature and that even elastic potential would be a result of that reaction at the atomic level.
 
  • #3
Wee-Lamm said:
I won't pretend to be educated in molecular theory but it seems reasonable to imagine that electrons are bound to atoms in a gravitational/magnetic field. This could imply that potential energy is electrical in nature and that even elastic potential would be a result of that reaction at the atomic level.
How does elastic potential be of a result of that reaction at the atomic level?
To clarify, intermolecular force results in electrical or elastic potential energy?
 
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  • #4
I would suspect that elastic properties would be the result of the desire for electrons to wish to be attached to neighboring atoms or at least, to resist the urge to jump to neighboring atoms when it is more efficient not to.

Again, I am not a molecular science guru but elastic energy is the response to being stretched in that it is the equal and opposite force striving to return to equilibrium, unless there is a better definition of the mechanism that creates this potential energy?

I'm not clear on how Kinetic energy would relate to your question.
 
  • #5
Wee-Lamm said:
I would suspect that elastic properties would be the result of the desire for electrons to wish to be attached to neighboring atoms or at least, to resist the urge to jump to neighboring atoms when it is more efficient not to.

Again, I am not a molecular science guru but elastic energy is the response to being stretched in that it is the equal and opposite force striving to return to equilibrium, unless there is a better definition of the mechanism that creates this potential energy?

I'm not clear on how Kinetic energy would relate to your question.
Oh I see
Ok thanks for your help.
 

Related to Potential energy in solids,liquids and gases

1. What is potential energy in solids, liquids, and gases?

Potential energy in solids, liquids, and gases is the energy that is stored within the particles of these states of matter. It is the energy that is associated with the position, arrangement, and interactions of the particles.

2. How does potential energy differ in solids, liquids, and gases?

In solids, potential energy is primarily due to the intermolecular forces between particles. In liquids, potential energy is a combination of intermolecular forces and the random motion of particles. In gases, potential energy is mainly due to the motion and collisions of particles.

3. What factors affect the amount of potential energy in solids, liquids, and gases?

The amount of potential energy in solids, liquids, and gases is affected by the temperature, pressure, and composition of the substance. It can also be influenced by external forces such as gravity or electric fields.

4. How is potential energy related to the phase changes of matter?

During a phase change, the potential energy of a substance changes. For example, during melting or vaporization, the potential energy increases as the intermolecular forces weaken and particles gain more freedom to move. During freezing or condensation, the potential energy decreases as particles become more tightly packed and intermolecular forces strengthen.

5. Can potential energy be converted into other forms of energy?

Yes, potential energy can be converted into other forms of energy such as kinetic energy, thermal energy, or electrical energy. This conversion typically occurs during physical or chemical processes, such as when a gas expands and does work or when a chemical reaction releases energy.

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