A liquid is a fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a constant volume independent of pressure. The word “liquid” is derived from the Latin word for “fluid.” All known liquids are composed of atoms or molecules, although there are some exceptions. Some substances can exist in both liquid and solid states at the same time, depending on temperature (such as water and mercury).
Liquids have several important properties: they flow, they have a definite volume but no definite shape, and they exhibit surface tension. Surface tension is caused by the cohesive forces between molecules at the surface of a liquid. These cohesive forces result in a tendency for liquids to minimize their surface area. This can be seen when water droplets form on surfaces such as glass or metal.
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