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Matter and its states

12-FEB-2016 12:10

    Matter is anything which has mass, occupies space and can be felt by our one or more sense organs. For example- Air and Water; Hydrogen and Oxygen; Sugar and Sand; Silver and Steel; Iron and Wood; Ice and Alcohol; Milk and Oil; Carbon dioxide and Steam; Carbon and Sulphur; Rocks and Minerals etc. These are different kinds of matter which has mass, volume and occupy space. They exist in the form of solid, liquid, gas and plasma.

    In other words, it is that substance which occupies space has definite mass, can exert pressure; can produce physical resistance, and also whose existence can be realised by our sense organs.


    Types of matter

    The matter has divided into two categories on the basis of composition:

    1. Physical Composition
    2. Chemical Composition

    Physical Composition

    In this composition matter is totally depends on intermolecular forces existing among their molecules. Matter is divided into three group on the basis of physical composition- solid, liquid and gas.


    SolidIn this type, matter has definite shape and fixed volume because their intermolecular forces of attractions among molecules of substance are stronger than forces of separation and hence molecules of substance are compressed in dense form. For example- table, book, stone pieces etc.


    LiquidIn this type, matter has  definite volume but indefinite shape like water, milk, oil , wine etc because their intermolecular forces of attraction among the molecules are only slightly greater than the corresponding forces of separation and hence the molecules of  liquid  are less densely  compressed and are freely move inside the substance.


    GasIn this type, substance or matter has indefinite or uncertain shape and size (volume) like air, H2, N2, O2 etc because their intermolecular forces of attraction are weaker than corresponding forces of attraction. Gas particles have a great deal of space between them and have high kinetic energy. When a gas is put under pressure by reducing the volume of the container, the space between particles is reduced, and the pressure exerted by their collisions increases. If the volume of the container is held constant, but the temperature of the gas increases, then the pressure will also increase.

    Chemical Composition

    The matter is divided into three groups- elements, compound and mixture.


    It is that fundamental substance or matter which cannot be decomposed or disintegrated into two or more different components which have different properties or characteristics by any physical or chemical process. On the basis of electronic configuration, an element is that substance or matter whose atoms have same nuclear charges. It is of two types- Metal and Non-metal. Metals are usually good conductors of electricity and heat and mostly found in solid states which are malleable and ductile whereas non-metal are bad conductors of electricity and heat, and these are brittle.


    It is that substance which is formed by the chemical combination of two more elements composed in a definite ratio, and also the physical and chemical properties of the formed compound are different from that of its constituents or components elements. For example- Water is formed from hydrogen and Oxygen.


    It is substance or matter which is formed by two or more pure elements by the means of only a physical combination without definite proportion. For example- air, brass (Copper+ Zinc) etc.

    Image Courtesy: www.easyscienceforkids.com

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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