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Definition of Matter

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The content and activity in this topic will work towards building an understanding of how substances are categorized and their properties.


Matter is anything that takes up space and can be weighed. In other words, matter has volume and mass. There are many different substances, or types of matter, in the universe. Chemists describe matter based on both physical characteristics, such as color or mass, and chemical characteristics, such as how one type of matter interacts with another type of matter. There are many ways to describe and classify matter.


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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.