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Chemistry LibreTexts

1: Nature of Matter

  • Page ID
    270389
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    • 1.1: Prelude to Chemistry, Matter, and Measurement
      Quantities and measurements are as important in our everyday lives as they are in medicine. The posted speed limits on roads and highways, such as 55 miles per hour (mph), are quantities we might encounter all the time. Both parts of a quantity, the amount (55) and the unit (mph), must be properly communicated to prevent potential problems. In chemistry, as in any technical endeavor, the proper expression of quantities is a necessary fundamental skill.
    • 1.2: What is Chemistry?
      Chemistry is the study of matter—what it consists of, what its properties are, and how it changes. Being able to describe the ingredients in a cake and how they change when the cake is baked is called chemistry. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space—that is, anything that is physically real.
    • 1.3: The Classification of Matter
    • 1.4: Prelude to Elements, Atoms, and the Periodic Table
      The hardest material in the human body is tooth enamel. It has to be hard so that our teeth can serve us for a lifetime of biting and chewing; however, tough as it is, tooth enamel is susceptible to chemical attack. Acids found in some foods or made by bacteria that feed on food residues on our teeth are capable of dissolving enamel. Unprotected by enamel, a tooth will start to decay, thus developing cavities and other dental problems.
    • 1.5: Atomic Theory
      Atoms are the ultimate building blocks of all matter. The modern atomic theory establishes the concepts of atoms and how they compose matter.
    • 1.6: Dalton's Atomic Theory
    • 1.7: Conservation of Mass
    • 1.8: Law of Definite Proportions
      Wherever we travel in the United States, we want electricity to be available. What we also want (although we usually don't think about it) is for the electricity supply to be the same wherever we go. We want the same voltage (110 volts for the U.S.) to come from the outlet to whatever we plug in. If the voltage is less, the system will not work. If it is more, the equipment will be damaged. We want a definite amount of voltage - no more and no less.
    • 1.9: Law of Multiple Proportions
    • 1.10: Classifying Matter According to Its Composition
      One useful way of organizing our understanding of matter is to think of a hierarchy that extends down from the most general and complex to the simplest and most fundamental. Matter can be classified into two broad categories: pure substances and mixtures. A pure substance is a form of matter that has a constant composition and properties that are constant throughout the sample. A material composed of two or more substances is a mixture.
    • 1.11: The Structure of Atoms
      Atoms are composed of three main subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are grouped together in the nucleus of an atom, while electrons orbit about the nucleus.
    • 1.12: Protons
    • 1.13: Electrons
    • 1.14: Neutrons
    • 1.15: Nuclei of Atoms
      Elements can be identified by their atomic number and mass number. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different masses.
    • 1.16: Atomic Masses
      Atoms have a mass that is based largely on the number of protons and neutrons in their nucleus.


    1: Nature of Matter is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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