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Chemistry LibreTexts

3: Matter

  • Page ID
    212458
    • 3.1: What is Matter?
      Matter is anything that has mass and volume (takes up space). For most common objects that we deal with every day, it is fairly simple to demonstrate that they have mass and take up space. You might be able to imagine, however, the difficulty for people several hundred years ago to demonstrate that air has mass and volume. Air (and all other gases) are invisible to the eye, have very small masses compared to equal amounts of solids and liquids, and are quite easy to compress (change volume).
    • 3.2: Prelude to Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
      The angstrom unit is named after Anders Jonas Ångström, a nineteenth-century Swedish physicist. Ångström's research dealt with light being emitted by glowing objects, including the sun. Ångström studied the brightness of the different colors of light that the sun emitted and was able to deduce that the sun is composed of the same kinds of matter that are present on the earth. By extension, we now know that all matter throughout the universe is similar to the matter that exists on our own planet.
    • 3.3: Basic Definitions
      Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter and energy. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Matter can be described in terms of physical properties and chemical properties. Physical properties and chemical properties of matter can change. Matter is composed of elements and compounds. Combinations of different substances are called mixtures. Elements can be described as metals, nonmetals, and semimetals.
    • 3.4: Differences in Matter- Physical and Chemical Properties
      A physical property is a characteristic of a substance that can be observed or measured without changing the identity of the substance. Physical properties include color, density, hardness, and melting and boiling points. A chemical property describes the ability of a substance to undergo a specific chemical change.
    • 3.5: Changes in Matter - Physical and Chemical Changes
      Change is happening all around us all of the time. Just as chemists have classified elements and compounds, they have also classified types of changes. Changes are either classified as physical or chemical changes. Chemists learn a lot about the nature of matter by studying the changes that matter can undergo. Chemists make a distinction between two different types of changes that they study - physical changes and chemical changes.