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What is chemistry?


anything that has mass and occupies space


the study of the properties of matter and how matter changes


a single kind of matter that is pure and has a specific set of properties

physical property

a characteristic of a pure substance that can be observed without changing it into another substance

chemical property

a characteristic of a pure substance that describes its ability to change into a different substance


a pure substance that cannot be broken down into other substances by chemical or physical means; one of about 100 basic materials that make up all matter


the basic particle from which all elements are made

chemical bond

the force that holds atoms together


a neutral particle made of two or more atoms joined by covalent bonds


a pure substance made of two or more elements chemically combined

chemical formula

a combination of symbols that represents the elements in a compound and their proportions


two or more substances that are mixed together but not chemically combined

heterogeneous mixture

a mixture in which pure substances are unevenly distributed throughout the mixture

homogeneous mixture

a mixture in which substances are evenly distributed through the mixture


a well-mixed mixture containing a solvent and at least one solute that has the same properties throughout


a measure of the force of gravity on an object


a measure of how much matter is in an object

International System of Units

(SI) the system of units (SI) used by scientists to measure the properties of matter


the amount of space that matter occupies


the ratio of the mass of a substance to its volume

physical change

a change in a substance that does not change its identity

chemical change

a change in which one or more substances combine or break apart to form new substances

law of conservation of mass

the principle that the total amount of matter is neither created nor destroyed during any chemical or physical change


the ability to do work or cause change; the ability to move an object some distance


a measure of the average energy of motion of the particles of a substance

thermal energy

the total potential and kinetic energy of the particles in an object

endothermic change

a change in which energy is taken in

exothermic change

a change in which energy is given off

kinetic energy

energy that an object has due to its motion

potential energy

stored energy that results from the position or shape of an object

chemical energy

a form of potential energy that is stored in chemical bonds between atoms

electromagnetic energy

a form of energy that travels through space as waves

electrical energy

the energy of moving electrical charges


a metal strip that conducts electricity; a metal part of an electrochemical cell, which gains or loses electrons

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