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Introduction

All the objects that we see in the world around us, are made of matter . Matter makes up the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, the food we eat and the animals and plants that live around us. Even our own human bodies are made of matter!

Different objects can be made of different types of matter, or materials . For example, a cupboard (an object ) is made of wood, nails and hinges (the materials ). The properties of the materials will affect the properties of the object. In the example of the cupboard, the strength of the wood and metals make the cupboard strong and durable. In the same way, the raincoats that you wear during bad weather, are made of a material that is waterproof. The electrical wires in your home are made of metal because metals are a type of material that is able to conduct electricity. It is very important to understand the properties of materials, so that we can use them in our homes, in industry and in other applications. In this chapter, we will be looking at different types of materials and their properties.

The diagram below shows one way in which matter can be classified (grouped) according to its different properties. As you read further in this chapter, you will see that there are also other ways of classifying materials, for example according to whether or not they are good electrical conductors.

The classification of matter

Mixtures

We see mixtures all the time in our everyday lives. A stew, for example, is a mixture of different foods such as meat and vegetables; sea water is a mixture of water, salt and other substances, and air is a mixture of gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen.

Mixture

A mixture is a combination of two or more substances, where these substances are not bonded (or joined) to each other.

In a mixture, the substances that make up the mixture:

  • are not in a fixed ratio Imagine, for example, that you have a 250 ml beaker of water. It doesn't matter whether you add 20 g, 40 g, 100 g or any other mass of sand to the water; it will still be called a mixture of sand and water.
  • keep their physical properties In the example we used of the sand and water, neither of these substances has changed in any way when they are mixed together. Even though the sand is in water, it still has the same properties as when it was out of the water.
  • can be separated by mechanical means To separate something by 'mechanical means', means that there is no chemical process involved. In our sand and water example, it is possible to separate the mixture by simply pouring the water through a filter. Something physical is done to the mixture, rather than something chemical .

Some other examples of mixtures include blood (a mixture of blood cells, platelets and plasma), steel (a mixture of iron and other materials) and the gold that is used to make jewellery. The gold in jewellery is not pure gold but is a mixture of metals. The amount of gold in the jewellery is measured in karats (24 karat would be pure gold, while 18 karat is only 75% gold).

Questions & Answers

the art of managing the production, distribution and consumption.
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Fred
It's the allocation of scarce resources.
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Alpha
Economics is derived from the word Oikonomia which means management of household things. Thus, Economics is a study of household things with the constrains of allocating scare resources.
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formula of cross elasticity of demand
Theresia Reply
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what is ceteris parabus
Priyanka
Ceteris paribus - Literally, "other things being equal"; usually used in economics to indicate that all variables except the ones specified are assumed not to change.
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it's a summary of opportunity cost depicted on a curve.
okhiria
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Mannan
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igwe Reply
disaster management cycle
Gogul Reply
cooperate social responsibility
igwe
Fedric Wilson Taylor also define management as the act of knowing what to do and seeing that it is done in the best and cheapest way
OLANIYI
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11245/1.3
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