Science, Tech, Math › Science Amorphous Definition in Physics and Chemistry Understand What Amorphous Means in Science Share Flipboard Email Print Unlike a crystalline solid, an amorphous solid lacks ordered internal structure. Mina De La O / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 04, 2019 In physics and chemistry, amorphous is a term used to describe a solid which does not exhibit crystalline structure. While there may be local ordering of the atoms or molecules in an amorphous solid, no long-term ordering is present. In older texts, the words "glass" and "glassy" were synonymous with amorphous. However, now glass is considered to be one type of amorphous solid. Examples Examples of amorphous solids include window glass, polystyrene, and carbon black. Many polymers, gels, and thin films exhibit amorphous structure. Ice can take a crystal form as a snowflake or can form an amorphous solid. Sources Mavračić, Juraj; Mocanu, Felix C.; Deringer, Volker L.; Csányi, Gábor; Elliott, Stephen R. (2018). "Similarity Between Amorphous and Crystalline Phases: The Case of TiO₂." J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9 (11): 2985–2990. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b01067Zallen, R. (1969). The Physics of Amorphous Solids. Wiley Interscience.