What is Matter? by: Kathy Foley


Matter- physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.

examples of matter: Matter exists in three states: solids, liquids and gases. Some scientists also believe matter includes other states, such as plasma and Bose-Einstein. Matter is not limited to living or animate objects. For example, both a camera and a dog are matter, since they take up space and have mass.

states of matter

Pure substance

Pure substances: substances that are made of only one type of atom or only one type of molecule (a group of atoms bonded together).

Examples of pure substances: include tin, sulfur, diamond, water, pure sugar (sucrose), table salt (sodium chloride) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)


Element- a part or aspect of something abstract, especially one that is essential or characteristic.

Examples of elements: helium (He),ozone (O3),chlorine (Cl2),hydrogen (H2),oxygen (O2),diamond (pure carbon),diamond set in graphite (still pure carbon),iron skillet (Fe)


Compound: made up or consisting of several parts or elements, in particular.

There are many types of compound, like carbon dioxide (carbon and oxygen), common salt (sodium, chlorine), marble ( calcium, carbon, oxygen), copper (II) sulfate (copper, sulfur, oxygen) and hydrogen chloride (chlorine and hydrogen)


Mixture: a substance made by mixing other substances together.

Examples of mixture: Examples include ice cubes in a drink, sand and water, and salt and oil. Liquid that are miscible form heterogeneous mixtures. A good example is a mixture of oil and water.

example of mixture is mixing different coins together


homogeneous: consisting of parts all of the same kind

examples of homogeneous: Water itself is an example of a homogeneous mixture. It often contains dissolved minerals and gases, but these are dissolved throughout the water. Tap water and rain water are both homogeneous, even though they may have different levels of dissolved minerals and gases.


solutions: a liquid mixture in which the minor component (the solute) is uniformly distributed within the major component (the solvent).

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: of or denoting a process involving substances in different phases (solid, liquid, or gaseous).

For example, Salt and pepper, chocolate chip cookies, or a Twix™ candy bar, ... are all examples of heterogeneous mixtures, where substances are not mixed on a molecular level. Soda is a heterogeneous mixture (liquid solution) of H2O, C6H12O6, and a few other substances.

mixing candy together is heterogeneous


suspension: the action of suspending someone or something or the condition of being suspended, in particular.

Emulsions are a type of suspension, where two miscible liquids are mixed together. Examples of suspended solutions include salt water, sand in water, and muddy water.

homemade lemonade and salt water is examples of suspesion


colloid:a homogeneous, noncrystalline substance consisting of large molecules or ultra-microscopic particles of one substance dispersed through a second substance. Colloids include gels, sols, and emulsions; the particles do not settle and cannot be separated out by ordinary filtering or centrifuging like those in a suspension.

Colloids are common in everyday life. Some examples include whipped cream, mayonnaise, milk, butter, gelatin, jelly, muddy water, plaster, colored glass, and paper. Every colloid consists of two parts: colloidal particles and the dispersing medium.


Created with images by aumod - "fence railing wood" • James St. John - "Gold - Oregon Canyon Nugget (replica) (El Dorado County, California, USA)"

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