What is an Amorphous Solid?
Amorphous solids do not have a definite, regular internal shape. Now you may have heard of crystalline solids. Well, the main difference between crystalline solids and amorphous solids is that amorphous solids (like I said) do not have a definite, regular internal shape, so this gives amorphous solids three interesting qualities.
The first is when amorphous solids cool into a rigid form, they retain fluid like properties. Now because these amorphous solids have no definite, regular internal shape they can be easily molded. Think about glass, for example, (that’s an example of an amorphous solid) and glass comes in a variety of forms and shapes.
It can be a glass bottle, or it can be in a window, or it could be some kind of complex glass structure. The point is, glass can be molded into many different shapes and sizes.
There’s other types of amorphous solids as well, like, rubber for example, which can be molded into automobile tires, or sheets, or gaskets, and there’s also plastics, which can be mold into all types of shapes and sizes. That’s an example of how amorphous solids can be molded.
Now the third interesting characteristic of the solids, is they do not break into regular crystals. Remember how I was talking about glass as an example, you think about if you dropped a glass bottle, the different pieces of glass would not all be the same size.
You would have some little pieces, some big pieces, and some in-between pieces. Again, that’s just for example, because amorphous solids do not break into regular crystals.
Now, if you think about crystalline solids, they do break into regular crystals, so again, there’s another difference between amorphous solids and crystalline solids. The main thing you need to remember is that amorphous solids have no definite, regular internal shape.