A free tutorial on Matter and its chemistry

Everything around us is matter. The matter will have some mass and volume and will occupy some space. The matter will exist in different states and can be converted from one state to another state. To know the properties of a matter we should know the constituents of the matter. This article discusses various aspects of matter and its importance.

What is matter?

Anything that has some mass and volume is a matter. We can also define matter as anything that occupies some space. There are many matters. Some are visible and some are invisible. Air is also a matter. But it is not visible to us. It has some mass and volume. The matter may be a big castle or a small ant, everything has small building blocks only. Some materials are living things and some are nonliving things.

An atom is the smallest particle. An atom will contain protons, electrons, and neutrons. A proton will have mass as well as charge also. An electron will have no mass but will have a charge. Neutron is not having any charge but will have mass. A molecule is a combination of different atoms. There are some substances having similar atoms. Such substances are called elements. All matters that we will see will compose these elements and there are about 118 elements only which are given systematically in the periodic table.

Molecules will be formed by the combination of the same type of atoms and also by the combination of different types of atoms. Various matters will form by the combination of various molecules formed by the combination of various atoms in different ways. Each molecule will have its own chemical and physical properties. These atoms will get converted into ions by losing or gaining electrons. When an atom loses an electron, it will become positively charged and called a cation. When an atom gains an electron, it will become negatively charged and known as an anion. A combination of different cations and anions will form a new molecule.

States of matter:

Matter can exist and take different forms based on the arrangement of its constituent atoms/ ions/ molecules. It can exist either as a solid or a liquid or a gas.

Matter can be grouped into mainly three categories based on its physical existence. They are
  1. Solids: A solid will have a fixed shape. They are rigid and can't be compressed. Molecules in the matter will have a very strong intramolecular attraction force. The space between molecules in a solid may be less or even nil. Some of the solids will be crystalline and some are amorphous.

  2. Liquids: A liquid will not have a fixed shape. It will take the shape of the container in which we are holding it. They can be compressed. The intramolecular attraction in a liquid is less than the same in a solid. But it will be more than that of a gas. The space between the molecules in a liquid is moderate. Some liquids are miscible with other liquids. So, the liquids can be pure or a mixture.

  3. Gases: A gas will never have a fixed shape. Gas is very easily compressible. The intramolecular attraction is very less and less than that of both solids and liquids. The distance between two molecules in a gas is very high and more than that of both solids and liquids. These gases are miscible with other gases. So, a gas can be a pure gas or a mixture of different gases.

A matter can mainly be in any one of the above states, but there are some other states in which the matter exists very rarely. They are Plasma. Bose-Einstein condensates, Fermionic condensates and Quark–gluon plasma.

Changes in the state of Matter:

The state of a matter can be changed from one to the other. Temperature and pressure are the two parameters that can influence the state of matter. Pressure and temperature will play an important role in changing the intramolecular attraction forces and intramolecular distance. When these two properties change the state of the matter will also change.

For example, water is a liquid at room temperature. It can become a solid at a temperature less than 0 degrees centigrade and can be a gas at temperatures higher than 100 degrees centigrade. Natural gas is gas at room temperature but when we apply high pressure and compress it, it will become a liquid. The LPG we use is nothing but a liquified petroleum gas.

Properties of Matter:

Any matter will have some physical properties and some chemical properties.
  • Physical Properties: These physical properties can be divided into two types.

    1. Extensive properties: Extensive properties are properties that change with the quantity. Length and weight are examples of extensive properties.

    2. Intensive properties: These properties are not dependent on the quantity. Smell and temperature are two examples of these properties.

    Some physical properties are not dependent upon the chemical composition of the matter. These properties can be measured without changing the identity of the matter. Density and length are two examples of such properties.

  • Chemical Properties: The chemical properties of a matter will depend on the constituents that are present in the matter. The chemical properties of a matter can be studied when it is in the process of changing its identity or after the change. Acidity or basicity, reactivity, and oxidation state are some examples of chemical properties.

  • Conclusion:

    What we have around us is composed of matter. Its internal characteristics will decide the state of the matter. The physical and chemical properties of matter will depend on its composition. We can study the physical and chemical properties of a substance only after understanding the composition of the matter. Qualitative and quantitative analysis will give us an idea about the composition of matter.


    Author: Umesh19 Nov 2022 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

    Study of the matter existing around us is done through science. There are two main categories under which all such studies are performed. That is physics and chemistry. In physics we learn the physical nature of the material, its movement and effect of external forces on it. It covers everything from basic classical mechanics to the special theory of relativity. On the other hand chemistry deals with the chemical nature of materials and their interactions with each other as well as with other substances. It also deals with the creation of new material from the interactions between some other materials.
    All the chemicals used in the fertilizer industry, construction industry and medicine area are the result of some chemical reaction. Behind the manufacturing process of every chemical there is a chain of chemical reactions for obtaining the final product.

    Author: S.Pattavarayan13 Jan 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 7

    Matter is the physical substance that makes up the universe. It can be studied in various fields such as physics, chemistry, and materials science. In physics, the study of matter includes the properties and behavior of atoms and molecules, as well as their interactions with energy and forces. In chemistry, the study of matter focuses on the composition, structure, and properties of substances, and how they react and change. In materials science, the study of matter involves the development and application of new materials with specific properties and uses, such as in construction, electronics, and medicine.

    In addition to the fields already mentioned, the study of matter also plays a central role in many other scientific disciplines, including:

    Astronomy and Astrophysics: The study of matter in the universe, including the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and other celestial objects.

    Condensed Matter Physics: The study of the physical properties of solid and liquid materials, including the behavior of electrons, photons and other excitations.

    Nuclear Physics: The study of the properties and behavior of atomic nuclei and the interactions between them, including the forces that hold them together and the processes that can cause them to change or decay.

    Particle Physics: The study of the fundamental building blocks of matter and the forces that govern their interactions.

    Biophysics: The study of the physical and chemical principles that govern the behavior of biological systems, including the structure and function of proteins, DNA, and other bio-molecules.

    Materials Science and Engineering: The study of the properties and behavior of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, and the development of new materials with specific properties and uses.

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