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What is matter? Matter is stuff!

Chemistry is the study of matter, its composition and the changes it undergoes.  Physics is the study of matter and its motion and biology is the study of living matter. Since the basic sciences all deal with matter, it is necessary that you know a little bit about it.

The entire universe is made up two things: matter and energy.  However, matter and energy are just different forms of the same thing.  We know energy can become matter and matter can become energy.

Energy is the ability to cause change in position or composition.  Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass.  Mass is the amount of inertia in matter and the space occupied is the volumeInertia is the resistance to change. The greater the mass an object has the greater the inertia.

The Divisions of Matter

Matter is divided into pure substances and mixtures.  Pure substances are made of only one material that have definite properties and are divided into two groups: elements and compounds.  Mixtures are substances combined by physical means and are either homogeneous or heterogeneous.

Elements are the simplest forms of pure substances and are broken down into atoms.  Compounds are chemical combinations of elements and form molecules (H2O) or formula units (NaCl).

Homogenous mixtures appear to be mixed equally throughout and don’t separate into phases when left alone.  Homogeneous mixtures are solutions like sugar water. 

Heterogeneous mixtures are not equally mixed and separate when left alone. Vinegar and oil dressing, blood and milk are heterogeneous mixtures.