So we’ve spent the last two weeks learning about how to separate mixtures, identify objects and classify materials. . . now what do these each have in common? You have been using the properties of matter, also called characteristics or traits, to better understand what makes up matter. We will now venture into what we can’t see. . . the very small world of atoms, elements, compounds, and molecules. This week you’ve been learning about the phases of matter: solid, liquid, gas, plasma. Each of these phases of matter, also called “states of matter”, has particles in particular positions and ways they move. You’ve started your model to demonstrate the structure of particles within each state of matter. (Check back soon for great model pictures. Solids, you’ve learned, are closely packed particles with little movement, while gasses are highly mobile and energenic. The boundaries between solids and liquids is known as the melting point of a substance and then boundary between liquid and gas is called the boiling point. These boiling and melting points, and the state of matter are each additional properties of matter,just like shape, size, color, density, and solubility. Next week, we’ll begin to learn about the structure of an atom and how various elements are different atomically than others. You can review this semester’s ideas so far, by clicking on “MATTER/CHEMISTRY UNIT” on the side menu.