What is Matter? By: Maureen Stephenson

Matter is anything that is made up of atoms, and takes up space.

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). The measure of whether a substance is pure is known as purity
This is a pure substance element.
These are examples of pure substances (from left to right) Iron, salt, and baking soda


A compound is a pure substance composed of two or more different atoms chemically bonded 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.

Above are examples of compound substances.


A mixture contains two or more substances that are not chemically combined.

Sea water, gun powder, and oxygen are examples of a mixture


A substance can be defined as homogeneous if it contains only one kind of compound or one element. Here are some examples.

Salt, pure water, and silicon


Mixture of a solid and a liquid where the solid never settles out, eg saltwater


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

Salt and pepper, chocolate chip cookies, Twix candy bars, and soda, are examples of heterogeneous mixtures.


A suspension is a heterogeneous mixture in which solute-like particles settle out of a solvent-like phase some time after their introduction.

We apply the word 'suspension' when particles are big enough to eventually settle. If the particles are too small to ever settle, they are said to form a colloid.

We use the terms 'solute-like' and 'solvent-like,' because we are dealing with a heterogeneous mixture, while the terms solute and solvent refer to solutions, which are homogeneous.


A heterogeneous mixture in which solute-like particles do not settle out.

Above is a video to help you understand the difference between solutions, suspensions, and colloids.


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