• Written By trisha
  • Last Modified 27-01-2023

Physical Nature of Matter


Anything that has mass and occupies space is called matter. The matter is having both physical and chemical properties. Wondering what exactly are these? You have come to the right spot. Here, we will guide you with the physical nature of matter along with the detailed characteristics so that you can understand the concepts well.

The matter is made up of constituent particles. On the basis of the physical nature of matter, matter is of three different types: solids, liquids, and gases.

What Is the Physical Nature of Matter?

Based on the characterisation of the particulate nature of matter, it can be classified into three types: solids, liquids, and gases.

Solids: The packaging of molecules is very tight. They have a rigid shape and are often hard.
Liquids: The packaging of molecules is slightly loose when compared to that of solids. Liquids are known to take the shape of a container in which they are poured.
Gases: The molecules of a gas are far apart from each other. Gases spread easily in the atmosphere.

what is physical nature of matter?

Evidence of Particles in Matter

The evidence for the existence of particles in matter and their motion comes from the scientific experiments carried out on diffusion and Brownian motion.

Diffusion: Diffusion is the process of movement of molecules where there is a net flow of matter from regions of high concentration to low concentration. Ex- the efflorescence of scented flowers when kept in a room.
Brownian Motion:
Brownian motion is the erratic random movement of microscopic particles in a fluid, as a result of continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium. Ex- the movement of pollen grains on still water.


Example Demonstration of Diffusion

The following example points are given here so that diffusion can be demonstrated accordingly:

  • Even without stirring, water in a beaker containing a potassium permanganate crystal gradually turns purple on its own.
  • Water and potassium permanganate crystals are both composed of minute particles.
  • The particles of the potassium permanganate crystal separate when it is submerged in water.
  • Water becomes stained purple due to the potassium permanganate particles that are dispersed throughout it.
  • Actually, as the potassium permanganate dissolves, it enters the gaps between the water molecule particles.
  • Therefore, it can be said that the particles are flowing or in motion.

Example Demonstration of Brownian Motion

The following example points are given here so that Brownian motion can be demonstrated accordingly:

  • Robert Brown provided the strongest support for the existence and motion of particles in liquids in 1827. In water, Robert Brown suspended little pollen grains.
  • The pollens were observed to be travelling erratically and quickly through the water.
  • Water is made up of little, swiftly moving particles. Because they are frequently struck by the swiftly flowing water particles, pollen grains travel on the water’s surface.
  • Brownian motion describes the zigzag motion of tiny particles suspended in a liquid (or gas).

Classification of Matter: Physical Characteristics of Matter

The three states of matter are caused by variations in the distances between particles, the forces that attract them, and the kinetic energy of the individual particles. For instance, solids include sugar, sand, iron, wood, rocks, minerals, and ice. On the other hand, air, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and steam are gases, while water, milk, oil, kerosene, and alcohol are liquids.

Summary: Physical Characteristics of Matter

There are three different types of physical nature in the world around us. Solid, liquid, and gas are the three states of matter. All people are sturdy on the outside. We breathe in air, which is a gas, and we drink water, which is a liquid. Because different types of matter contain varied amounts of interparticle space, we have mentioned three possible states of matter. In this post, we studied about the characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases. In a nutshell, this is how matter behaves physically in the universe.

Questions on Physical Nature of Matter

Students can practice some short questions on Physical Nature of Matter:

Q.1: Which of the following diffuses faster?- Water vapour, wax or, ethyl alcohol.
Q.2: Kinetic energy of particles of water in three vessels A, B and C are EA, EB and EC respectively and EA > EB > EC. Arrange the temperatures, TA, TBand TC of water in the three vessels in increasing order.
Q.3: When a crystal of potassium permanganate is placed in a beaker containing water, its purple colour spreads throughout the water. What do you conclude from this observation about the nature of potassium permanganate and water?
Q.4: Can a rubber band change its shape on stretching? Is it a solid?
Q.5: Why do the doctors advise to put strips of wet cloth on the forehead of a person having high fever?

Hope this comprehensive article on “Physical Nature of Matter” has been helpful to you in assisting with the basic knowledge of Class 9 Chemistry.

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