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Lili's Art Decors Group

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Hoàng Đào
Hoàng Đào

Chemistry: Matter

Chemistry: Matter

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.

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Physical Properties of Matter

Physical properties are characteristics that describe matter as it exists. Some physical characteristics of matter are shape, color, size, and temperature. An important physical property is the phase (or state) of matter. The three fundamental phases of matter are solid, liquid, and gas.

Figure 1: The Phases of Matter. Chemistry recognizes three fundamental phases of matter: solid (left), liquid (middle), and gas (right).

A physical change occurs when a sample of matter changes one or more of its physical properties. For example, a solid may melt, or alcohol in a thermometer may change volume as the temperature changes. A physical change does not affect the chemical composition of matter.

Figure 2: Physical Changes. The solid ice melts into liquid watera physical change.

Chemical Properties of Matter

Chemical properties are characteristics of matter that describe how matter changes form in the presence of other matter. Does a sample of matter burn? Burning is a chemical property. Does it behave violently when put in water? This reaction is a chemical property as well.

Figure 3: Chemical Properties. The fact that this match burns is a chemical property.

Elements and Atoms

All matter is made up of substances called elements, which have specific chemical and physical properties and cannot be broken down into other substances through ordinary chemical reactions. There are 118 known elements, each with a unique symbol and atomic number.

Figure 4: Periodic Table of Elements. The periodic table arranges the elements according to their atomic number and chemical properties.

An element is composed of tiny particles called atoms, which are the smallest units of matter that retain the properties of the element. Atoms consist of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons in shells.

Figure 5: Structure of an Atom. An atom is a unit of matter that consists of a nucleus and electrons.


  • [The Phases of Matter]

  • [Physical Changes]

  • [Chemical Properties]

  • [Periodic Table of Elements]

  • [Structure of an Atom]


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