What is Matter? By: Elizabeth Araiza


Matter is a physical substance that has mass or that takes up space. Matter can be classified as a solid, liquid, or gas. But matter can be classified in other ways, such as pure substances and mixtures. Matter is made of extremely tiny particles called atoms and molecules.

Molecules are a group of atoms bonded together, representing the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound that can take part in a chemical reaction.

* Down below is a song that classifies matter.

Pure Substance

Pure substances are defined as substances that are made of only one type of atom or only one type of molecule (a group of atoms bonded together). A pure substance is a substance which is composed of only one type of atom or particle, and that has chemical and physical properties that do not change. Two examples of pure substances are elements and compounds.


An element is made up of one kind of atom. Also, an element is a substance made up of atoms which all have the same number of protons and the same atomic number. Elements are the simplest substance and can not be broken down using chemical methods.


Example: Silver is an element. An element can never change and silver doesn't change even if you chop the silver up in tiny little pieces. Some other examples of elements are oxygen, hydrogen, sodium, chlorine, lead, and iron.


A compound is a pure substance composed of two or more types of atoms chemically bonds together to one another. A compound can be destroyed by chemical means. It might be broken down into simpler compounds, into its elements or a combination of the two.

Water and Methane are examples of compounds, because they are they are made up of more than one type of atom and they can be broke down to simpler compounds or elements. Some other examples of compouds are carbon dioxide, marble, and hydrogen chloride.


A mixture is a material system made up of two or more different substances which are mixed but are not combined chemically. A mixture refers to the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are retained and are mixed in the form of heterogeneous mixtures and homogeneous mixtures.

Examples of Mixtures

Homogeneous Mixture

A homogeneous mixture is a combination of substances that has uniform composition and properties, or a mixture that is uniform throughout.


A bottle of perfume is also a type of homogeneous mixture. Some examples of homogenous mixtures are mouthwash, laundry detergent, vegetable oil, and vinegar.


A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances. A solution may exist in any phase. Some examples of solutions are rubbing alcohol and sugar dissolved in water.


Coffe is an another example of a solution. It is an example because the coffee has two substances and it looks the same through out.

Heterogeneous Mixture

A heterogeneous mixture is made of different substances that remain physically separate. Heterogeneous mixtures always have more than one phase (regions with uniform composition and properties). Some examples of heterogeneous mixtures are colloids and suspensions.

M&M Mixture

A m&m mixture is a heterogeneous mixture because it can be easily seperated into its original components. Cereal, mixed nuts, and a bowl of oatmeal are all examples of heterogenous mixtures.


A colloid is a homogeneous, noncrystalline substance consisting of large molecules of one substance dispersed through a second substance. Colloids have particles do not settle and cannot be separated out by ordinary filtering or centrifuging like those in a suspension.


Milk is an example of a colloid. Milk is an emulsified colloid of liquid butterfat globules dispersed within a water-based solution. Some other examples of colloids are whipped cream, mayonnaise, milk, butter, gelatin, and jelly.


A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture containing solid particles that are sufficiently large for sedimentation. The size of the particles is great enough so they are visible to the naked eye. Suspensions are two liquids that don't really mix together.

Oil in Water

Oil in water is an example of a suspension because the oil and water don't mix together. Some other examles of suspensions are muddy water and smoke in air.

*The video below is more information about homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures.


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