SCIE 4001
Unit 1
About Matter
Nature of Matter
Properties of Matter
States of Matter
Kinetic Theory of Gases
Brownian Motion

Unit 1-1 - Introduction

Observations: Around us are all kinds of objects

mountain church and people
Fig 1.1.1 - Friends of mine at the Iglesia de Balbanera (16th century church in Ecuador), Trees and a Snow Capped Volcano (Tungurahuara) in the background.
Fig 1.1.2 - Fruits and other Small Objects

— of the order of hundreds of time the size as us like mountains

— of the order of tens of time the size as us like houses

— of the same order of size as us like furniture, fruits, etc.

— of the order of one tenth time the size as us like cell phones, books, etc.

— of the order of one hundredth time the size as us like needles, pills, etc.

— by using instruments like telescopes we can see objects much, much larger or microscopes to see much, much smaller objects.

Fig 1.1.3 - Small Objects in The Panama Hat Factory
Fig 1.1.4 - Small Objects

Question: What is common to all of these objects?

All of these objects:

— take up space (we generally have difficulty fitting two objects in the same space)

— have weight.

— we are often able to perceive with our senses - sight, touch, hearing, tasting and smelling.

— Sometimes we have difficulty for example some objects disappear from sight in the dark but we can still feel, taste or smell.

— Some objects seem not to or have little affect the senses e.g. no taste or smell or difficult to feel or see.

Scientific Attitude.

Before we can come to any conclusions, we adopt the scientific attitude and propose hypotheses which we will test. If the data in our testing agrees with the observations we can adopt these hypotheses. If not we redo the hypothesis and retest...


— All objects are made up of matter i.e. material that we can perceive with the senses.


This course attempts to address that question!


— Some objects do not affect the senses or have little effect on the senses but still have the same material nature e.g. air is difficult to see, many substances have no smell, we can feel some objects in the dark but not see them!.

Let us deal with what we expect to observe if the hypothesis is true first...


Main Points

1. World is made up of Objects.

2. Objects are made up of Materials.

3. All materials are called Matter and have properties which allow us to detect them with our senses or instruments.

3. In this course we will use Scientific Thinking to investigate the Nature of Matter.

4. Scientific thinking involves:

— using knowledge from the 'body of science' - scientific, peer reviewed knowlwdge based on observable, reliable and repeatable phenomena in the Natural World.

— an inquiry process of developing a hypothesis and testing new knowledge to determine if predictions and observations are consistent with the 'body of scientific knowledge'.

modifying the hypothesis and knowledge as new observable, reliable and repeatable evidence comes to light.

science and technology
Fig 1.1.5 - Processes of Science and Technology



What is the nature of matter?

What is the value of matter to us as human beings?



See if you can determine the source of the material used for making the objects around you.

— Displacement of liquids by solids to show that objects occupy space.

We now move on to discussing some ideas about the nature of matter...


Concept by Kishore Lal. Programmed by Kishore Lal... Copyright © 2015 Kishore Lal. All rights reserved.