Lesson: Chapter - 4

The Structure of Matter

All matter such as solids, liquids, and gases, is composed of atoms. Therefore, the atom is considered to be the basic building block of matter. However, atoms are almost always grouped together with other atoms to form what is called a molecule. Only a few gases such as helium are composed of individual atoms as the structural unit.

The search for the atom began as a philosophical question. It was the natural philosophers of ancient Greece that began the search for the atom by asking such questions as: What is stuff composed of? What is the structure of material objects? Is there a basic unit from which all objects are made? As early as 400 B.C., some Greek philosophers proposed that matter is made of indivisible building blocks known as atomos.

we’ll start where you would usually start in a chemistry class: with a study of the atom and atomic theory.

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