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.


Butane, either of two saturated hydrocarbons, or alkanes, In both compounds the carbon atoms are joined in an open chain. In n-butane (normal), the chain is continuous and unbranched whereas in i-butane (iso) one of the carbon atoms forms a side branch. This difference in structure results in small but distinct differences in properties. Thus, n-butane melts at -138.3° C (-216.9° F) and boils at -0.5° C (31.1° F), and i-butane melts at -145° C (-229° F) and boils at -10.2° C (13.6° F).

Both butanes occur in natural gas, petroleum, and refinery gases. They show little chemical reactivity at ordinary temperatures but burn readily when ignited in air or oxygen. They make up the most volatile portion of gasoline and are sometimes added to propane to be marketed as bottled gas. Most n-butane, however, is converted to butadiene, which is used to make synthetic rubber and latex paints.