What is Matter? by: Leticia Ruiz


What is matter? Matter is anything that has mass or takes up space.
There are three states of matter Gas, Liquid, and Solid.

Matter exists in three states: solids,liquids,and gasses. 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. Matter can also be broken down in to two categories: pure substances and mixtures.

Matter can be defined as Pure Substances.

Pure Substances

The pure substance within chemistry is a very simple concept to grasp. 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.

Examples of pure substances include tin,sulfur,diamond,water,pure sugar,table salt, and baking soda. All elements are pure substances.Water, sugar, salt and baking soda are pure substances which are chemical compounds.

Pure Substances can be defined as elements.


An element is a substance consisting of atoms which all have the same number of protons and the same atomic number. Elements are chemically the simplest substances and hence cannot be broken down using chemical methods. Elements can only be changed into other elements using nuclear methods.

Examples of elements include oxygen, hydrogen, sodium, chloride, lead, and iron.

Pure Substances can also be defined as a compound.


A compound is a substance formed when two or more chemical elements are chemically bonded together. Two types of chemical bonds common in compounds are covalent bonds and ionic bonds. The elements in any compound are always present in fixed ratios.

There are many types of compounds like carbon dioxide, salt,marble,copper,sulphate, and hydrogen chloride.


A mixture is a combination of two or more pure substances in which each pure substance retains it's individual chemical properties.
Coke, rocks, and a fruit salad are all examples of mixtures.

Examples include ice cubes in a drink, sand and water, and salt and oil. Liquid that are immiscible form heterogeneous mixtures. A good example is a mixture of oil and water. Chemical solutions are usually homogeneous mixtures.

A mixture refers to the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are retained and mixed.

Homogeneous Mixtures

A homogeneous mixture is a mixture which has uniform composition and properties throughout.
Hawaiin Punch
Salt with water

Examples of a homogeneous mixture is Hawaiin Punch, Milk, and Salt with water.

Homogeneous Mixtures can also be defined as solutions


In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In such a mixture, a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent.
A solution is made when a Solute and a Solvent is mixed and dissolved.

An example of a solution is making a saline water solution by dissolving table salt in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent. In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In such a mixture, a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent.

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).

Salt and pepper, chocolate chip cookies, or a Twix candy bar are all examples of a heterogeneous mixture, where substances are not mixed on a molecular level. Soda is also a heterogeneous mixture in a liquid solution.

In the Heterogeneous mixture there are more specific types of mixtures which are called Suspensions and Colloids.


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.
These are some of a suspension's properties.

An example is sand and water. Rather than dissolving in the water, the sand will float around and eventually settle to the bottom. This interaction between sand and water perfectly explains what a suspension is. Suspension is a type of heterogeneous mixture where solid particles do not dissolve in a liquid solution.

These are some examples of a Suspension.

Another specific type of mixture is a colloid.


A colloid, in chemistry, is a mixture in which one substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble particles is suspended throughout another substance.

Some examples of a colloid can be foams detergents and even cosmetics.

A colloidal solution causes the Tyndall effect.

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