Matter & Energy


Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.

Wood Alcohol

Methyl alcohol, or methanol, CH3 OH, is the simplest of all the alcohols. It was formerly made by the destructive distillation of wood; however, almost all of the methanol produced today is synthetic, made from hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Methanol is used as a denaturant for grain alcohol, as an antifreeze, as a solvent for gums and lacquers, and in the synthesis of many organic compounds, particularly formaldehyde. When taken internally, by either drinking the liquid or inhaling the vapors, methanol is extremely poisonous. Methanol melts at -97.8° C (-144.0° F), boils at 64.7° C (148.5° F), and has a specific gravity of 0.7915 at 20° C (68° F).