Classifications of Matter

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Solid State


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Solid State

A substance in the solid state when its particles are so densely packed together with low enough kinetic energy that it has a fixed shape and volume. Ex. metals, wood, stone, ice

Liquid State

A substance in its liquid state when it has gained enough thermal energy to break out of its fixed shape, but still retains a fixed volume.

Gas State

A substance is in a gaseous state when it has gained so much thermal energy that its fast moving particles no longer remain in fixed shape or volume.

Plasma State

A gas consisting of positively and negatively charged particles that move so fast and collide with such force that they stray off the electrons from one another. Ex. Stars, lightning, neon lights


The gaseous state of a substance that exists as a solid or liquid at room temperature.


An element or compound that can not be broken down into simpler components and still retain its original properties. Aka, chemicals


A substance that cannot be broken down into a simpler substance and is a primary constituent of matter. Ex. oxygen, carbon, iron, gold


A substance that contains the atoms of two or more elements combined in a fixed proportion. Ex. Water, salt, chalk

Physical Property

Any characteristic of a material that you can observe without changing the identity of the substances that make up the material.

Extensive Physical Properties

Properties that depend of the amount of matter present in a sample. Ex. Mass and volume.

Intensive Physical Property

Properties that do not depend on the amount of matter present. Melting point, specific gravity, specific heat, density, solubility, boiling point.

Specific Heat

Amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of substance by 1 degree Celsius.

Specific Gravity

A comparison of a specific substance to the density of a reference substance (typically water)

Chemical Property

Ant characteristic of a substance that indicates whether it can undergo a certain chemical change. Ex. Flammability, toxicity

Physical Change

Any change in size, shape, or state of matter. Ex. expansion and color.

Chemical Change

The change of one substance to a new substance. Chemical changes are not easily reversible. Ex. Rusting, burning.

  • They are often referred to as chemical reactions.

Indicators of a chemical change

  • color change

  • odor change

  • production of a solid

  • absorption or production of heat

  • production of gas

Law of Conservation of Mass

The mass of all reactants equal the mass of all the products.

  • Matter is neither created or destroyed.


Material consisting of a physical blend of two or more substances. Ex. Air, gasoline.

Heterogenous Mixture

A mixture in which the different materials can be easily distinguished.

Homogenous Mixture

A mixture with two or more substances blended evenly throughout. Ex. coffee, salt water, vinegar.


A homogenous mixture of one or more solutes dissolved in a solvent. They equal solid, liquid, gas.


The substance that is present in the greatest amount.

Seperations of Mixtures

The choice of a technique with which to separate the components of a mixture depends on the physical state(s) of the components (gases, liquids, and/or solids), and on the different chemical and or physical properties of the components.


A process of separating fluids by causing the fluid to pass through pores in a filter. The fluid that passes through is called filtrate. Ex. AC, brewing coffee


A technique used for the separation of particles from a solution according to their shape, size, density, and viscosity. The particles are suspended in a liquid medium, and spun inside a centrifuge. Ex. Blood separation.


A process in which a mixture of a solid substance is a dissolved in a hot solvent.

  • As the solution cools, most of the substances become less soluble, but to different degrees.

  • Crystals form which contain a high percentage of the less soluble solids than the original mixture.

  • Filtration is then used to separate these crystals from the substances that remain dissolved.


A process for separating substances in a mixture by evaporating a liquid and re-condensing its vapor.

  • The liquid with the lower boiling point separates from the other substance. Ex. Desalination, crude oil refine.


A process to separate the components of a mixture dissolved in either a gas or liquid (mobile phase) based on the ability of each component to travel or be drawn across the surface of a fixed substate (stationary phase). Ex. Drug Testing