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Interesting fact

It is a known fact that well-insulated buildings need less energy for heating than do buildings that have no insulation. Two building materials that are being used more and more worldwide, are mineral wool and polystyrene . Mineral wool is a good insulator because it holds air still in the matrix of the wool so that heat is not lost. Since air is a poor conductor and a good insulator, this helps to keep energy within the building. Polystyrene is also a good insulator and is able to keep cool things cool and hot things hot. It has the added advantage of being resistant to moisture, mould and mildew.

Remember that concepts such as conductivity and insulation are not only relevant in the building, industrial and home environments. Think for example of the layer of blubber or fat that is found in some animals. In very cold environments, fat and blubber not only provide protection, but also act as an insulator to help the animal keep its body temperature at the right level. This is known as thermoregulation .

Magnetic and non-magnetic materials

We have now looked at a number of ways in which matter can be grouped, such as into metals, semi-metals and non-metals; electrical conductors and insulators, and thermal conductors and insulators. One way in which we can further group metals, is to divide them into those that are magnetic and those that are non-magnetic.


Magnetism is one of the phenomena by which materials exert attractive or repulsive forces on other materials.

A metal is said to be ferromagnetic if it can be magnetised (i.e. made into a magnet). If you hold a magnet very close to a metal object, it may happen that its own electrical field will be induced and the object becomes magnetic. Some metals keep their magnetism for longer than others. Look at iron and steel for example. Iron loses its magnetism quite quickly if it is taken away from the magnet. Steel on the other hand will stay magnetic for a longer time. Steel is often used to make permanent magnets that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Magnets are used to sort the metals in a scrap yard, in compasses to find direction, in the magnetic strips of video tapes and ATM cards where information must be stored, in computers and TV's, as well as in generators and electric motors.

Investigation : magnetism

You can test whether an object is magnetic or not by holding another magnet close to it. If the object is attracted to the magnet, then it too is magnetic.

Find some objects in your classroom or your home and test whether they are magnetic or not. Then complete the table below:

Object Magnetic or non-magnetic

Group discussion : properties of materials

In groups of 4-5, discuss how our knowledge of the properties of materials has allowed society to:

  • develop advanced computer technology
  • provide homes with electricity
  • find ways to conserve energy

The following presentation provides a summary of the classification of matter.


  • All the objects and substances that we see in the world are made of matter .
  • This matter can be classified according to whether it is a mixture or a pure substance .
  • A mixture is a combination of one or more substances that are not chemically bonded to each other. Examples of mixtures are air (a mixture of different gases) and blood (a mixture of cells, platelets and plasma).
  • The main characteristics of mixtures are that the substances that make them up are not in a fixed ratio, they keep their individual properties and they can be separated from each other using mechanical means.
  • A heterogeneous mixture is non-uniform and the different parts of the mixture can be seen. An example would be a mixture of sand and water.
  • A homogeneous mixture is uniform, and the different components of the mixture can't be seen. An example would be a salt solution. A salt solution is a mixture of salt and water. The salt dissolves in the water, meaning that you can't see the individual salt particles. They are interspersed between the water molecules. Another example is a metal alloy such as steel.
  • Mixtures can be separated using a number of methods such as filtration, heating, evaporation, centrifugation and dialysis.
  • Pure substances can be further divided into elements and compounds .
  • An element is a substance that can't be broken down into simpler substances through chemical means.
  • All the elements are recorded in the Periodic Table of the Elements . Each element has its own chemical symbol. Examples are iron ( Fe ), sulphur ( S ), calcium ( Ca ), magnesium ( Mg ) and fluorine ( F ).
  • A compound is a substance that is made up of two or more elements that are chemically bonded to each other in a fixed ratio. Examples of compounds are sodium chloride ( NaCl ), iron sulphide ( FeS ), calcium carbonate ( CaCO 3 ) and water ( H 2 O ).
  • When naming compounds and writing their chemical formula , it is important to know the elements that are in the compound, how many atoms of each of these elements will combine in the compound and where the elements are in the Periodic Table. A number of rules can then be followed to name the compound.
  • Another way of classifying matter is into metals (e.g. iron, gold, copper), semi-metals (e.g. silicon and germanium) and non-metals (e.g. sulphur, phosphorus and nitrogen).
  • Metals are good electrical and thermal conductors, they have a shiny lustre, they are malleable and ductile, and they have a high melting point. These properties make metals very useful in electrical wires, cooking utensils, jewellery and many other applications.
  • A further way of classifying matter is into electrical conductors , semi-conductors and insulators .
  • An electrical conductor allows an electrical current to pass through it. Most metals are good electrical conductors.
  • An electrical insulator is not able to carry an electrical current. Examples are plastic, wood, cotton material and ceramic.
  • Materials may also be classified as thermal conductors or thermal insulators depending on whether or not they are able to conduct heat.
  • Materials may also be either magnetic or non-magnetic .


  1. For each of the following multiple choice questions, choose one correct answer from the list provided.
    1. Which of the following can be classified as a mixture:
      1. sugar
      2. table salt
      3. air
      4. iron
    2. An element can be defined as:
      1. A substance that cannot be separated into two or more substances by ordinary chemical (or physical) means
      2. A substance with constant composition
      3. A substance that contains two or more substances, in definite proportion by weight
      4. A uniform substance
  2. Classify each of the following substances as an element , a compound , a solution (homogeneous mixture), or a heterogeneous mixture : salt, pure water, soil, salt water, pure air, carbon dioxide, gold and bronze.
  3. Look at the table below. In the first column (A) is a list of substances. In the second column (B) is a description of the group that each of these substances belongs in. Match up the substance in Column A with the description in Column B.
    Column A Column B
    iron a compound containing 2 elements
    H 2 S a heterogeneous mixture
    sugar solution a metal alloy
    sand and stones an element
    steel a homogeneous mixture
  4. You are given a test tube that contains a mixture of iron filings and sulphur. You are asked to weigh the amount of iron in the sample.
    1. Suggest one method that you could use to separate the iron filings from the sulphur.
    2. What property of metals allows you to do this?
  5. Given the following descriptions, write the chemical formula for each of the following substances:
    1. silver metal
    2. a compound that contains only potassium and bromine
    3. a gas that contains the elements carbon and oxygen in a ratio of 1:2
  6. Give the names of each of the following compounds:
    1. NaBr
    2. BaSO 4
    3. SO 2
  7. For each of the following materials, say what properties of the material make it important in carrying out its particular function.
    1. tar on roads
    2. iron burglar bars
    3. plastic furniture
    4. metal jewellery
    5. clay for building
    6. cotton clothing

Questions & Answers

what is the meaning of function in economics
Effah Reply
Pls, I need more explanation on price Elasticity of Supply
Isaac Reply
Is the degree to the degree of responsiveness of a change in quantity supplied of goods to a change in price
Discuss the short-term and long-term balance positions of the firm in the monopoly market?
Rabindranath Reply
how are you?
can you tell how can i economics honurs(BSC) in reputed college?
through hard study and performing well than expected from you
what should i prepare for it?
prepare first, in psychologically as well as potentially to sacrifice what's expected from you, when I say this I mean that you have to be ready, for every thing and to accept failure as a good and you need to change them to potential for achievement of ur goals
parna kya hai behencho?
Hello, dear what's up?
good morning
pls, is anyone here from Ghana?
Hw s every one please
Ys please I'm in Ghana
what is firms
Anteyi Reply
A firm is a business entity which engages in the production of goods and aimed at making profit.
What is autarky in Economics.
what is choice
Tia Reply
So how is the perfect competition different from others
Rev Reply
what is choice
please what type of commodity is 1.Beaf 2.Suagr 3.Bread
Alfred Reply
what is the difference between short run and long run?
Ukpen Reply
It just depends on how far you would like to run!!!🤣🤣🤣
meaning? You guys need not to be playing here; if you don't know a question, leave it for he that knows.
pls is question from which subject or which course
Is this not economics?
This place is meant to be for serious educational matters n not playing ground so pls let's make it a serious place.
Is there an economics expert here?
Okay and I was being serous
The short run is a period of time in which the quantity of at least one inputs is fixed...
that is the answer that I found online and in my text book
Meaning of economics
Suraj Reply
It will creates rooms for an effective demands.
Chinedum Reply
different between production and supply
What is the economic?
Economics is a science which study human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which has an alternative use.
what is supply
what is different between demand and supply
Debless Reply
Demand refers to the quantity of products that consumers are willing to purchase at various prices per time while Supply has to do with the quantity of products suppliers are willing to supply at various prices per time. find the difference in between
Please what are the effects of rationing Effect of black market Effects of hoarding
Atty Reply
monoply is amarket structure charecrized by asingle seller and produce a unique product in the market
Cali Reply
I want to know wen does the demand curve shift to the right
demand curve shifts to the right when there's an increase in price of a substitute or increase in income
ask me anything in economics, I promise to try and do justice to the question, you can send me an email or message, I will answer
what are the factor that change the curve right
explain the law of supply in simple .....
the Law of supply: states that all factor being equal, when the price of a particular goods increase the supply will also increase, as it decreases the supply will also decrease
@Nana the factor that changes or shift the d demand curve to the right is 1) the increase in price of a substitute good or commodity 2) increase in income
you can send your questions I am Comr. Kin chukwuebuka
different between bill of exchange n treasure bill
so would you tell me what means an apportunity cost plz?
what is true cost
your question isn't correct naadi
define an apportunity cost?
orukpe ,is my question whats wrong or u dont know anything?
In a simple term, it is an Alternative foregone.
opportunity cost is the next best value of a scale of preference
Both of you are not correct.
opportunity cost: is a forgone alternative
Monopoly is where is one producer produces a given product with no close substitute
what is income effect?
Qwecou Reply
if you borrow $5000 to buy a car at 12 percent compounded monthly to be repaid over the next 4 year what is monthly payment
Nitish Reply
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
Sharoon Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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