Characteristics of Matter
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Characteristics of Matter

Characteristics of Matter

Author: Nathan Lampson

Discover what matter is and how everything around you is made of matter; from the computer screen in front of you to the air you breathe, matter is everywhere.  Learn the characteristics of matter, including chemical bonds and the roles that atoms of elements play in the density and form of matter.

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Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

You are matter, the screen in front of you is matter, and all of the air around you is matter too.


Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.

If you were to tear aluminum foil in half over and over again, eventually you'd reach a point where the foil couldn't be separated anymore.  You would be left with just a single aluminum atom.  Atoms are the smallest possible structure of a pure element.

Elements are pure substances that can't be broken down by chemical or physical means.

Gold, aluminum, and oxygen are all examples of common elements. Different elements have different properties because their atoms are different. 


A chemical bond occurs when atoms combine to form larger particles. A chemical bond is a force of attraction between two atoms.


Carbon dioxide, the molecule that is exhaled by humans as waste, has chemical bonds between one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.