Study Guide

Properties of Matter Terms

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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.


A substance that is formed from more than one kind of atom chemically bound together. For example, carbon dioxide (CO2) and sodium chloride (NaCl) are compounds because each one has two kinds of atoms that are bound by covalent or ionic bonds. Oxygen (O2) is not a compound, however, because it has one single kind of atom (O). Oxygen is referred to a diatomic molecule.


Change water from gas to liquid, act of making something denser

Crystal Lattice

A three-dimensional array of points that embodies the pattern of repetition in a crystalline solid.


Density is a measure of an object's mass in comparison to its volume (density= mass/volume). Density can increase either by increased mass or by decreased volume. Picture a jar of raisins and a jar of peanut butter. If both jars are the same size, the peanut butter would have a higher mass and consequently a higher density. To increase the density of the raisins you would have to either increase the mass of the raisins (squash more and more raisins into the original jar) or decrease the volume (take the same amount of raisins from the original jar and squash them into a smaller jar).

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.


An element is a substance composed of atoms with identical atomic number.


The act of passing a liquid or gas through a filter to remove solid particles.


The quality of being easily ignited and burned rapidly.


The conversion of a liquid into a gas.

Freezing Point

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


Diverse, different, not all alike


Alike, "homo" is together/similar/the same


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


Visible to the naked, or unaided, eye.


Malleability means an object is capable of being hammered into sheets or shapes.


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; visible with a microscope.


A sample of matter composed of two or more substances each of which retains its 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 close together.


The process of a solid becoming a gas.


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 some time has passed.

Vaporization (or Boiling Point)

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


Thickness of fluid; water has less viscosity than syrup


the amount of space inside a 3-dimensional object.

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