What is Matter

What is Matter and Its Particulate Nature?


What is Matter?

What is Matter?, We use many things in our daily life, such as books, pens, bags, mobiles, water, etc. All these are called Matter.

The matter is that which surrounds space and which has mass and weight and which we can experience through our senses. Such as - pen, book, water, mobile, computer, air, etc.

This entire universe is basically made up of two factors - matter and energy.

According to Indian Maharishi Kanad, the universe is created by four matter namely earth, water, fire, and air. Similarly, the Greek philosopher Democritus and the Roman philosopher Lucretius (400 BC) had expressed their views that matter is discrete, that matter is made up of tiny undivided particles called atoms. The word atom is derived from the Greek language, in which 'a-tomio' means 'non-cutting' or 'integrant'. Previously, all these ideas (atoms are inseparable) were based only on imagination, but modern discoveries and research all provided a new direction and ensured that matter is particulate in nature.

Classifications of Matter

Matter can be classified in two ways.

Physical Classifications

On the basis of physical classification, matter can be classified into three states.

  • Solid State
  • Liquid State
  • Gaseous State

1. Solid State

Solid State

The state of matter whose volume and size are both fixed is called Solid State. In the solid-state, particles of matter are located very close, that is, the interstitial space between them is very less. Because of which they cannot move freely. Therefore, they can vibrate only on their axis. A solid crystal lattice is present between the solids, in which the elementary particles are strongly bound. Due to which solid matter are hard, and their density is high. Examples- rock, ice, brick, iron, etc.

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2. Liquid State

liquid (water)

The state of matter whose volume is fixed, but not the size, is called Liquid State. In this state, the constituent particles are located at a greater distance than the solid particles and the attraction force is less between them. Due to which the particles of fluid move freely inside a certain boundary line. Due to the particles being in a state of regular motion, they take the shape of the same vessel in which they are placed. Since the particles of liquids keep sliding on each other in a haphazard manner, fluidity is found in liquids. Examples- water, alcohol, milk, oil, etc.

3. Gaseous State

Gas (smoke)

The state of matter whose volume and size are both uncertain is called a Gaseous State. In this state, the attraction force between the particles of matter is weak and they are present far and wide, due to which they keep on moving irregularly and take the volume and shape of the vessel in which they are placed. Due to the greater distance between the particles, they can be compressed by external pressure. Examples- Hydrogen, Air, Oxygen, etc.

Difference between Gas and Vapor
Gases that are in a gaseous state at ordinary temperature are called gases, while any other state at ordinary temperature and gases at high temperature is called vapor.

Chemical Classification

Matter can be classified as follows based on the chemical composition.

  • Pure Matter
  • Mixtures

1. Pure matter

Pure Substances

Matter whose composition of each part is fixed and fixed is called Pure Matter. Elements and Compounds come under them.

a. Elements

The pure matter which cannot be reduced to other ingredients by physical or chemical methods, nor can be produced from them, are called Elements.

Such as carbon (diamond, graphite), sodium, potassium, etc. Generally, they are all formed by the same type of atoms. The total number of elements known so far is 116, out of which 92 elements are natural, while the rest are made by humans.

Elements can again be divided into the following three classes.

i. Metals

Metals that are electrically positive and exhibit metallic properties such as natural brightness, hardness, shockability, tensile, electrical, and heat conductivity are called Metals. Such as copper, platinum, gold, silver, etc.

ii. Non-Metals

Those elements which are extremely negative and exhibit non-metallic properties such as brightness Inferiority, brittleness, softness, electrical and thermal malformation are called Non-Metals. Such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc.

iii. Metalloids

The elements which have properties of both metal and non-metals are called Metalloids. Such as arsenic, germanium, etc.

b. Compounds


A pure matter, which is obtained by chemical combination in definite proportions of two or more elements, is called a Compound.

Some common symptoms of compounds are:

  • The compound can be decomposed by chemical methods to recover its original elements.

Example: Water (H2O) is a compound because it is formed by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a fixed ratio (1: 8 ratio). It can be further decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen by flowing an electric current in the water.

  • The properties of compounds differ from the properties of their constituents.

Example: Hydrogen is a highly flammable gas and oxygen is helpful in combustion, but its compound ie water is used to extinguish the fire.

The compounds can be further divided into two parts.

i. Inorganic Compounds

Compounds that can be formed by the addition of atoms other than carbon are called Inorganic Compounds. Such as H2O, NH3, etc.

Although the properties of carbonate, bicarbonate, hydrogen cyanide, etc. have more similarities with inorganic compounds, they are studied with inorganic compounds. They are usually obtained from inanimate sources such as minerals, rocks, etc.

ii. Organic Compound

Compounds that are formed by combining carbon and hydrogen are called Organic Compounds. Nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), sulfur (S), etc. are also found in them. Such as CH4, C6H6, etc.

2. Mixtures

The mixture obtained by mixing two or more elements or compounds in any proportion is called Mixtures. Examples- Air, milk, seawater, etc.

Each element present in the mixture retains its identity, that is, when mixed, they do not interact with each other, otherwise their form or properties or both will be changed. The ingredients of a mixture can be separated by normal physical methods.

There are two types of mixtures

  • Homogeneous Mixture
  • Heterogeneous Mixture

a. Homogeneous Mixture

When the ingredients of a mixture are evenly distributed throughout the mixture, ie, the ingredients in the mixture have the same ratio in each part of the mixture, the mixture is called a Homogeneous Mixture.

A mixture of gases like air, oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2), etc. is called a Homogeneous Mixture. Salt solution and alloys in water are also homogeneous mixtures. In this type of mixture, the particulate particles cannot be seen with the naked eye or under the microscope.

b. Heterogeneous Mixture

Heterogeneous Mixtures

When the ingredients in a mixture are not evenly distributed in the entire mixture, ie, the proportion of the ingredients in each part of the mixture is not equal, this type of mixture is called a Heterogeneous Mixture. For example, a mixture of sand and iron filings, smoke, milk (a mixture of water and fat), concrete, etc.

Properties of Matter

Matter shows the following properties.

Mass and weight

The mass of a system represents the amount of matter present in that system, while the weight represents the force of gravity on that system.

Weight can be converted into mass and mass into weight as follows

Weight = Mass × Gravity

The SI system has a unit of mass kg, but gram is commonly used in chemistry.

The mass of an object is the same at each location, while its weight changes with the change of location. Because the value of g varies at different places.


The total space enclosed by an object is called its Volume.

Volume of an object = (length)3

Length unit = m
Hence, the unit of volume = m3
But in chemistry, small units of volume like cm3 or decim3 are commonly used.
1 l = 1000 ml, 1000 cm3 = 1 decim3 = 1 li, 1 cm3 = 1 ml

Keep in mind that the volume of a container for gases is the volume of gases.


The amount of matter present in a unit volume is called its density.

Density = \frac{Weight}{Volume}

The unit of density is gram/li or gram/cm3.

1 gram/l = 1/1000 g/ml

1 gram/cm3 = 1 gram/ml = 1000 kg/m3


The temperature of an object is the measure of the thermal energy present in that object. Numerous scales are used to measure temperature,

Three of which are the following

1. Fahrenheit Scale, oF

On this scale, the freezing point of water is 32 oF and the boiling point is 212 oF. These two boundaries are divided into 180 parts.

2. Celsius Scale, oC

On this scale, the freezing point of water is 0 oC and the boiling point is 100 oC. These two boundaries are divided into 100 parts.

3. Kelvin Scale, K

On this scale, the freezing point of water is 273.15 K and the boiling point is 373 K.

The measured temperatures on any two scales are related to

^{o}\textrm{F} = \frac{9^{o}}{5}C

K = oC + 273.15

• Temperature below 0 oC (negative temperature) is possible on the Celsius scale, whereas it is not possible on the Kelvin scale.
• Human body temperature is 37 oC or 98.6 oF and room temperature is 25 oC or 77 oF.

Measurement of Properties of Matter

To measure the properties of matter, it should be known what are their units? And before their units, it is also necessary to know what are the units, meaningful digits, etc.


The considered standard for comparing measurements or quantities is called a Unit. It is necessary to use a unit to correctly express any measured amount. Example - If we say that the length of this pen is 10, then it is not correct. But if it is written 10 meters or 10 cm, it shows the actual length of the pen.

There are two types of units

  • Fundamental Units
  • Derived Units

1. Fundamental Units

Those units which cannot be derived from other units are called Fundamental Units.

Some of the major systems of Fundamental Units are:

a. CGS System

In this system, the unit of length in centimeters (cm), the unit of mass is the gram (g), and the unit of time is second (s).

b. FPS System

Under this system, the unit of length is the foot, the unit of mass is the pound and the unit of time is the second.

c. MKS System

In this system, the unit of length is meter, the unit of mass is the kilogram, and the unit of time is second.

d. SI System

In October 1960, the International Committee on Weights and Measures introduced an international system of units, which is called the SI system in short. There are seven units and two complementary units under this system.

Seven basic units

S. No.Physical QuantitiesUnit
5.Electric currentAmpere
6.Light intensityCandela
7.Amount of SubstanceMole

Radian (rad, for angle) and steradian (Sr, for solid angle) are two complementary units.

Prefixes Used of Fundamental

By adding some prefixes to the basic units (units), their values ​​can be reduced or increased. Example: Length is measured in meters. Therefore, its value can be increased by applying prefixes to deca, hecta, etc., while its goods can be reduced by prefixing deci, centi, etc.

Some standard prepositions used to display the basic units are tabulated below.

Standard prefix to display basic units


For example, the coefficient of deci is 10-1 ie 1 decimeter = 10-1 m, here the term deci is used as a prefix.

2. Derived Units

All those units which are derived from the original units are called Derived Units. The names of some derived units directly reflect their original units, while some are given specific names.

Some Derived SI Unit

Physical AmountSignRelationship to Basic AmountsSI unitSign
AreaALength × widthsquare meterm2
VolumeVLength × Width × Heightcubic meterm3
The densityρMass / volumeKilogram per cubic meterkg m-3
VelocityvDistance / timeMeter per secondm s-1
AccelerationaChanged velocity/unit timeMeter per second per secondm s-2
The forceFMass × accelerationNewton (N)kg m s-2
PressurepForce/unit areaPascal (Pa) or Newton per squarekgms-2 = Nm-2
WorkWForce × distanceJoule (J)kg m2s-2
The frequencyνDetour/unit timeHz (Hz)s-1
Electric chargeQcurrent × timeCoulomb (C)As
VoltageVVolt (V)V = kgm2s-3A-1 = JA-1s-1 = JC-1
Electrical resistanceΩVoltage/currentOmW = VA-1
Electric ConductivityΩ-1Inverse of electrical resistanceOm-1 or S * (Simon)W-1 = AV-1

Conversion Factors

The unit of all the zodiacs must be the same when calculating. So if different units are given for differences in the question, then it is necessary to convert them into units of the same system. For this, the given amount is multiplied by a factor, which is called the conversion factors. The variable factor contains both numerator and denominator, which represent equivalent zodiac signs.

Required amount = given amount × variable factor

Some variable factors are shown in the table below.

Some important variable factors

Initial AmountVariable Factor
1 m39.37 inches
1 inch2.54 cm
1 li1000 ml = 1000 cm3 = 10-3 m3 = decimi3
1 quart3.79 li
1 esu3.3356 × 10-10 coulom
1 dyne10-5 Newton
1 atmosphere101325 Pascal
1 time1 × 105 Newton m-2
1 Li Atmosphere101.3 joules
1 year3.1536 × 107 seconds
1 point1 × 10-18 esu cm
1 calorie4.18 joules
1 electron volt1.602 × 10-19 Joules
1 electron volt / atom96.5 kilojoule mol-1
1 atmosphere931.5016 mega electron volts
1 kWh3600 kilojoules
1 joule107 erg
1 mole of gas22.4 L (at STP)
1 mole of a substanceNo molecules
1 gram atomNo atoms
1 gram cm-31000 kg m-3
1 joule1 newton-m

Significance of Conversion Factors

If the correct units are not used while calculating, inaccurate results are obtained. Example- Suppose we have to find the pressure of 0.1-mole gas in a 100 ml flask at 300 K. Then, keeping the values ​​given in the ideal gas equation (pV = nRT),

p = \frac{nRT}{V}

p = (0.1 mole × 0.0821 l atmosphere mol-1 kelvin-1 × 300 kelvin) / 100 ml

p = Li atmosphere/ml

Inaccurate results are clearly visible here. If we convert milli to liters in the above calculation, we get only the atmosphere unit, which represents pressure. Therefore, it is necessary to use the appropriate units while calculating.

Scientific Notation

Numbers can be converted to scientific notation by changing the decimal place of any number. The new number obtained in scientific notation is more than 1 or 1 and less than 10.

  • If a number of decimals are moved to the left, multiply the new number by 10n (where n represents the number of places the decimal is displaced.)

Example: To convert the number 553.5 into a scientific solution, the decimal has to be displaced two places to the left. Therefore, it will be written as 5.535×102 as a scientific notation.

  • If a decimal is moved to the right to convert a number to scientific notation, multiply the obtained new number by 10-n.

Example: The number 0.00731 will be written in scientific notation as 7.31×10-3 because the decimal place has been displaced three places to the right.

Accuracy and Precision

Each of the experimental measurements varies somewhat and the errors and uncertainties found in them depend on the measuring device and the efficiency of the person performing the measurement.

Accuracy represents the nearest value to the true (real) value, ie it represents the difference between the average experimental value and the actual value. While precision refers to the proximity of the values ​​obtained by measurement. Ideally, all measurements should be accurate and accurate. A true value is generally accurate, while it is not necessary that the exact value is also accurate.

Significant Figures

The total number of digits present in a number is called its meaningful number. In other words, the digits of a number by which a physical amount can be fully expressed up to its true value are called Significant Figures.

Rules for Finding Significant Figures

  1. All nonzero digits are meaningful. Example: Number 1234 has four meaningful digits and 338 has three meaningful digits.
  2. All zeros between two nonzero digits are meaningful signs. Example- The number 1008 has four meaningful digits, while 2.0503 has five meaningful digits.
  3. They are not meaningful if zero is located between any digit and decimal or to the left of the decimal. Example- The number 0.0084 has two meaningful digits.
  4. Decimals are located to the right of nonzero numbers, may or may not be meaningful. Example- 30,000 can be written as follows.
    3 × 104 (1 meaningful digit) 3.0 × 104 (2 meaningful digits) 3.00 × 104 (3 meaningful digits)

All zeros to the right of nonzero numbers become meaningful when they come from a measurement.

Example: Let the distance measured between two places is 4050 m. It has four meaningful digits. This distance can also be expressed as 4.050 km or 4.050 × 105 cm. The number of meaningful digits in all these expressions is four. Changing the decimal place also does not change the number of meaningful digits in the result.

The greater the number of meaningful digits obtained from the measurement, the greater the accuracy of the measurement.

Significant Figures in Calculations

The meaningful marks in the calculations are as follows

1. Addition and Subtraction

The following points should be kept in mind in adding and subtracting

  • All zodiac signs should be converted into a common unit.
  • If one amount is expressed to the power of 10, then all other zodiac signs should also be converted to the power of 10.
  • In the result obtained after adding and subtracting, the digits after the decimal is as significant as the number, which is the minimum of any element number.

Example- 33.3 (one) + 3.33 (two) + 0.333 (three) = 36.963 = 36.9 (one)

Similarly, 7.3842 (four) - 7.382 (three) = 0.0022 = 0.00220 (three)

2. Multiplication and Division
  • If a number is multiplied by a constant, the number of significant digits remains the same.
  • The last number that comes in multiplication or division calculations, has the same number of meaningful digits as the number with the least significant digits participating in the calculation. for example,

14.79 (four significant digits) × 12.11 (four significant digits) × 5.05 (three significant digits) = 904.48985 (three significant digits)


0.18 (two significant digits) /2.487 (four significant digits) = 0.0723763 (two significant digits) = 0.072 or 7.2×10-2

Rounding Off

The following rules are followed when computing the values ​​of the measurement

  1. If the number to be rounded is less than 5, remove that digit.
    Example- 7.82 will be written as 7.8.
  2. If the number to be rounded is greater than 5, the number before it is increased by one.
    Example- 6.87 will be written as 6.9.
  3. If the number to be rounded is any number other than zero with 5, then the digit preceding 5 will be written by an increase.
    Example- The number 16.351 will be rounded off to 16.4.
  4. If the number to be rounded is zero after 5 and the number before 5 is even, the number will remain unchanged.
    Example- 3.2 will be written as 3.2.
  5. If the number to be rounded is zero after 5 and the number before 5 is odd, one will be added to the previous number.
    Example- The number 3.750 will be rounded off to 3.8.

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