Solid or Liquid? Physicists Redefine States of Matter: ...the main difference between liquids and solids is the way they respond to shear, or twisting forces. Liquids barely resist shear and can easily be sloshed, whereas solids — regardless of whether they are crystals, quasicrystals or glass — resist attempts to change their shape.
The liquid-solid phase transition, Radin and Aristoff reason, should therefore be marked by the “shear response” of a material jumping from zero to a positive value...
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