Atoms and Matter

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Chapter 6 : Atoms and Matter

Topics covered in this snack-sized chapter:

Atoms arrow_upward

  • Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter that make up everyday objects
  • All substances are made up of tiny units called Atoms.
  • If we want to create a language, we'll need an alphabet. Likewise if we want to create matter we need elements that are made from atoms.
  • Everything from water to air to solid objects are built from atoms, it is the smallest unit.
  • Atom consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons.
  • The atomic nucleus contains a mixture of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons.
  • Likewise, a group of atoms can remain bound to each other, forming a Molecule

  • Matter arrow_upward

  • Matter is generally considered to be anything that has mass and volume.
  • The "stuff" in the world can be roughly divided into matter and energy. Matter has mass and exhibits gravimetric properties
  • Matter is thus a general term for the substance of which all observable physical objects consist.
  • Matter is everything around you.
  • Matter is anything made of atoms and molecules.
  • Matter is anything that has mass (weight) and volume (takes up space).

  • What is and is not matter

  • Matter is everything and anything that is not energy, space, or time.
  • Matter makes up everything from the mountains to the oceans to the human body.
  • The things that are not matter are:
    • Energy - Electromagnetism, light, heat
    • Space - The area matter and energy exist in, like the area between two walls or between stars
    • Time - The progressive activities of things as they happen

    State of matter arrow_upward

  • States of matter: All the material on earth is in three states.
    • Solid
    • Liquid
    • Gas


  • A solid has a certain size and shape. The wood block is solid.
  • A solid has a fixed volume and shape, although it can be altered.

  • Liquid

  • It has a size or volume, but it doesn't have a definite shape. It takes the shape of its container. Milk is liquid matter.
  • The molecules of a liquid are practically fixed in their volume and density, but not their shape. The molecules of a liquid can move around to fill a volume.

  • Gases

  • A gas is matter that has no shape or size of its own. Gases have no color. You can't see oxygen. It's invisible.
  • The least dense state, which has no fixed volume or shape, but can be changed in density (pressure) by changing its amount or its volume
  • By heating/condensation most of the matters changes its state.

  • Properties of matter arrow_upward

  • The different types of matter can be distinguished through two components: composition and properties.
  • The composition of matter refers to the different components of matter along with their relative proportions.
  • These properties are generally grouped into two categories: Physical and Chemical.

  • Physical Property

  • Intensive: A physical property that will be the same regardless of the amount of matter.
    • Density: Mass per volume.
    • Color: The pigment or shade.
    • Conductivity: ability of substance to conduct electricity.
    • Malleability: if a substance can be flattened.
    • Luster: how shiny the substance looks.
  • Extensive: A physical property that will change if the amount of matter changes
    • Mass: how much matter is present in the sample
    • Volume: How much space the sample takes up
    • Length: How long the sample is

    Physical Change

  • Change in which composition of matter remains same but its state changes
    • Three main states of matter are: Solid, Liquid, Gas
    • Solid is distinguished by a fixed structure. Its shape and volume do not change. In a solid, atoms are tightly packed together in a fixed arrangement.
    • Liquid is distinguished by its malleable shape but constant volume.
    • In liquid, atoms are close together but not in a fixed arrangement.
    • Gas is made up of atoms that are separate. However, unlike solid & liquid, a gas has no fixed shape and volume

    Chemical Property

  • Any characteristic that gives a sample of matter the ability/inability to undergo a change that alters its composition. Example: Paper's ability to burn

  • Chemical Change

  • Change in which one or more kinds of matter are transformed to new kinds of matter with altered compositions (Or Chemical Reaction).

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