What is Matter? by: Lauren garrett


Matter: That which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.

Matter is divided into two groups, either its under a pure substance or a mixture.

Pure Substances

A pure substance can be and element or a compound.


An element is only made up of one kind of atom, where a compound is made up of two or more atoms. For example, an element would be iron because its made up of the same kind of atom.


A compound is made up of two or more kinds of atoms, and that's how it differs from an element.

Water is a compound because it's made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.


A mixture is broken down into two more groups: homogeneous and heterogeneous.

Homogeneous Mixture

A homogeneous mixture is a mixture which has uniform composition and properties throughout. For example, air is a homogeneous mixture of gases. Taking a deeper look into homogeneous mixtures is something called a solution. Some examples of solutions are salt water, rubbing alcohol, and sugar dissolved in water. When you look closely, upon mixing salt with water, you can't see the salt particles anymore, making this a homogeneous mixture.

Heterogeneous Mixture

A heterogeneous mixture is simply any mixture that is not uniform in composition. It’s a non-uniform mixture of smaller constituent parts. The parts in the mixture can be separated from one another. Trail mix is an example of this.

Looking further into heterogeneous mixtures are two types of heterogeneous mixtures: suspension and colloid.


A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture that has particles held in a liquid or gas that doesn't settle or isn't dissolved, such as sand in water or oil in water.


Colloids are common in everyday life. A colloid is a substance that appears to be a singular component but is actually made up of two different components. Milk is colloid made up of butter fat and water.


Created with images by Brett Jordan - "Periodic Table of Heavy Metals" • boristrost - "water glass drip" • Mel B. - "Sugar" • by claire - "Glass of water." • Ruth and Dave - "Posh trail mix" • HealthGauge - "Milk" • Skitterphoto - "livestock cow cattle" • greenmelinda - "Butter"

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