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Properties of Matter Terms

Boiling Point

The temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid is equal to the atmospheric pressure.

Chemical Change/Process

A method of changing one or more chemicals or chemical compounds into different chemicals or chemical compounds.

Chemical Property

A property used to characterize materials in reactions that change their identity. No real estate here.


Combinations of two or more elements that are chemically bonded together in a set ratio.


The conversion of a gas into a liquid. Think of your windows when it's cold outside.

Crystal Lattice

A three-dimensional array of points that represents the pattern of repetition in a crystalline solid. Diamonds are a lattice's best friend.


Mass of a substance per unit volume.

Displacement Method

A means of finding the volume of irregularly shaped object by submerging it into a known volume of water and measuring the change in volume that occurs. Want to know your volume? Take a dip in the pool.


A pure substance that cannot be decomposed. All the atoms are the same.


The act of passing a liquid or gas through a filter to remove solid particles. Oil filters in your car do this.


The quality of being easily ignited and burned rapidly.


The conversion of a liquid into a gas.

Freezing Point

The temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid.


Matter in a form that has low density, is easily compressible, expands spontaneously when placed in a larger container, and has particles that are far apart and move freely.


A means by which energy is transferred from a hot body to a colder body when the two are placed in thermal contact with one another. Think of the heat coming off of a hot cup of cocoa.


A sample of matter consisting of more than one phase.


A sample of matter consisting of a single phase.


A state of matter that has a high density, low compressibility, takes the shape of it's container, and possesses particles that are close together but are still able to flow.


Visible to the naked eye; not microscopic.


The property that describes the ability of something that can be worked, hammered, or shaped without breaking.


The quantity of matter in a body.


Anything that has mass and volume.


The process of a solid becoming a liquid.

Melting Point

The temperature at which liquid and solid coexist in equilibrium.


Extremely small, not visible with the naked eye.


A sample of matter composed of two or more substances, each of which retains it's own identity and properties.


The building block of matter usually in the form of atoms, molecules, or ions.

Physical Change/Property

A change that does not transform one substance into another.


The fourth state of matter in which many electrons wander around freely among positively charged nuclei of atoms.


A dense, rigid state of matter with a definite volume and shape whose particles are packed closely together.


The process of a solid becoming a gas. Think of the ice cubes that disappear in your freezer—there's no melting going on there.


A sample of matter that has the same chemical composition and physical properties.


A heterogeneous mixture in which solute particles settle out of a solvent after a period of time.

Vaporization (or Boiling Point)

The temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid.


The measure of a liquid's resistance to flow. Maple syrup is more viscous than water.


A measurement of the amount of space contained within a three-dimensional shape.

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