University of Edinburgh

BSL Chemistry Glossary - Laboratory video (Quicktime) - compression

Note: this is a long movie so please allow it time to load

Video: I will show you an experiment about compression. 
First I will try to compress a solid in this syringe. It doesn't work because the solid can’t be compressed any further.

Next, I will try to compress a liquid (water). It doesn't work either. The particles of the liquid can move freely, but they can't easily be squashed into a smaller volume.

The last syringe has air in it. The particles in air move around very easily and are a long way apart. Because of that, it is much easier to compress air.