describe an activity to show that matter is composed of particles

Physical Nature of Matter

  1. Is matter continuous or particulate in nature?

From the beginning, the scientific community has held a divided view on the physical nature of matter. While one group was of the view that matter is continuous like a piece of stone or a block of wood, the other group believed that matter is particulate i.e. it is made up of small particles such as sand. This debate continued for a very long time, until it was proved beyond doubt that matter is particulate in nature. This can be understood better by performing the following activity.

Take 50 mL water in a beaker. Mark the level of water in the beaker. Now, add some salt to the beaker and stir well with the help of a spoon (as shown in the figure). Observe the level of water now. Add some more salt and repeat the above procedure.

What do you observe? Does the level of water change after every addition?

It will be observed that salt disappears after being added to water. However, there is no change in the level of water in the beaker.

This observation can be explained if we assume that matter is made up of particles. A chunk of salt consists of numerous salt crystals. Each crystal of salt is made up of many small salt particles. These particles become dissociated from each other and spread uniformly between the particles of water. Thus, the level of water in the beaker remains the same. These particles are so small that we cannot see them with the naked eye. Hence, it can be concluded that matter is made up of particles i.e. matter is particulate in nature.

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1 piece of evidence is that matter has phase changes. For instance water, its proven that water has particles because it goes from ice-water-steam or vapor. That happens because when you heat or increase the kinetic energy of water when it's in its ice state (below 0 degrees Celsius) the particles that make water begin to move faster and so it starts change into liquid water, then if you continue to increase the kinetic energy then it turns into water vapor (over 100 degrees Celsius). Also, that you can separate water into hydrogen and oxygen helps prove there are particles because that means that water is made of 2 base elements, which are gases. For those 2 gases to come together and make liquid means that something chemically happened to the particles that make up oxygen and hydrogen for them to make water so its only safe to assume that there's something more matter than things like that just happen, so there must be particles
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Describe an experiment to show that matter in composed of particles
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Describe an experiment to show that matter is composed of particles
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