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.

Acids and Bases

Acids and Bases, two classes of chemical compounds that display generally opposite characteristics. Acids taste sour, turn litmus (a pink dye derived from lichens) red, and often react with some metals to produce hydrogen gas. Bases taste bitter, turn litmus blue, and feel slippery. When aqueous (water) solutions of an acid and a base are combined, a neutralization reaction occurs. This reaction is characteristically very rapid and generally produces water and a salt.