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  • Structure and Transformation of Matter


    Matter is all around us.   In fact, everyone and everything consists of matter.   Your dog, cat, video game, all consist of matter.   Anything that takes up space and has mass is made of matter.  

      Matter can be broken down into smaller components.   For example matter consists of molecules, which consist of atoms, which consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons.   We can future breakdown protons and neutrons into quarks, which can be classified into 6 different flavors, but we will save that discussion for a future lesson.  

    Let's begin with an examination of the states of matter.

    Matter is classified into  3 primary states: Solid, Liquid, Gas.   A 4th condition of matter, called plasma exists in which the particles are ionized.  

    Prior Knowledge Activity                                                           


    Properties of a Solid

    A substance in a solid phase has a definite volume and shape, and is  relatively rigid.   The molecules of a solid are close together.   Solids have some level of thermal energy, and vibrate to a degree.   the movement is not detectable by the human eye, and happens very rapidly.

    Properties of a Liquid
    A substance in a liquid phase has a difinite volume by takes the shape of its container.   Particles in a liquid are close together, and have a density similar to solids.
      Properties of Gas
    A substance in a gas phase does not have a definite volume, mass or shape.   Gas does take the shape of its container, but will fill the space it is given, unlike water which has a consistent volume.



        What does matter look like?                                                                        

    Want to dig deeper?


    Chemical Change

    Chemical change refers to the process that causes matter to change forms.   Have you ever had a silver ring or piece of jewlery, and noticed over time that it began to turn colors?   This is the result of a chemical reaction.   Have you ever burned a piece of wood?   The wood produces smoke and ash, which are also the result of chemical change.

      What's the matter with that liquid?