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Introduction to Matter

Science, Grade 6


Table Of Contents: Introduction to Matter

1. What Is Matter?
Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Everything around us that we can see is made up of matter. Our food, clothing, homes, possessions and even our bodies are all composed of matter.
2. Matter and Substances
A substance is a type of matter that is pure and has a specific chemical makeup. For example, salt, sugar, and water are all substances with precise chemical compositions. Although there are numerous examples of pure substances, most of the matter around us is made up of many substances. Just think of all the substances and ingredients found in the foods we eat every day.
3. Properties of Matter
Matter can be described as having physical and chemical properties. Physical properties would include things like mass and color. For example, a piece of wood has physical properties that can be measured and observed. Chemical properties are related to how matter can react and change into other materials. Chemical properties of this wood are that it is flammable, and if it is burned, it will change to ash and smoke.
4. Physical Properties
A physical property of matter is a property that can be observed or measured without changing the composition of the matter. Some examples of physical properties include color, texture, flexibility, density, mass, and magnetism. The states of matter, solid, liquid or gas, are also physical properties.
5. Chemical Properties
A chemical property of matter is a property that describes the ability of the matter to react to other substances and change into different substances. Reactivity and flammability are both chemical properties. A chemical property of iron is that it reacts with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide, or rust. Another example is the flammability of fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide gases when they are burned.
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