Where do elements get their physical properties? Well the short answer is inter-molecular forces and that's really all the time I have to spare before the second quarter. Several inter-molecular forces keep an element at a certain phase of matter. The tenacity of these forces depends a great deal on the circumstances of pressure and temperature but for blog purposes, it is safe to think of these at standard pressure and temperate so it is easily visualized. These so-called inter-molecular forces exist in four main types. The first is dipole-dipole bonding which includes hydrogen bonding. This type entails the attraction of oppositely charged particles which are already included in chemical and typically organizes the molecules into some sort of crystalline solid. Secondly, network covalent bonding is where atoms are never truly singular compounds and bond with themselves continuously in a relatively massive "macromolecular" network. An example of this is diamond, a typical example with hardness and high melting point. The third is metallic bonding. For metals, the electrons that occupy their outermost energy level are distant from the positive nucleus and are so feebly attracted that they can transfer from the radius of one nucleus to a neighboring positive charge. In a sense, their electrons are in constant flux which allows metal to conduct electricity. The final are the London dispersion forces. If one could imagine the electrons surrounding the nucleus as a mobile cloud, then the electron of neighboring molecules would repel each other and also be attracted to the positive nucleus. This is a very mild force and often falls by the way side but it it is the reason why gases sometimes freeze at extremely low temperature, that ever-present weak force.