Classification of Matter and its Properties

The matter is made up of tiny particles which are not visible with our naked eyes.  Matter exists in different forms in nature. Some will be rigid like substances. Some matter will be having a flowing nature that has the shape of what it remains in. Some will not have a definite shape or size, such as air. So matter is defined as something that holds a mass and occupies space. 

According to the physical properties exhibited by matter, it has been categorised into three states known as states of matter. The three states are

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas

In this article, we will be discussing the types of matter and their properties in detail.

Classification of matter

Three states of matter are listed below with a detailed description.


  • Particles are packed closely together in solids
  • Compression is less in the case of solids as the gap between the particles is little.
  • It has a definite shape and volume and has a rigid structure.
  • In solids, the rate of diffusion is very low.
  • Due to the strong intermolecular forces between the particles, they oscillate about their mean position.
  • Examples are Sugar, solid ice, wood, etc.


  • The particles are tightly held together comparatively less than solids
  • The force of attraction between the particles are less compared to solids and intense than gases
  • Intermolecular space between the particles is less. Hence, liquids are difficult to compress
  • The rate of diffusion in liquids are higher than in solids
  • The density of the liquid is in between solid and gas
  • Liquids have a definite volume as they exhibit the shape of the container in which they are kept in.
  • Examples: Water, milk etc.


  • The particles in gases are very far apart, and thus, the distance between the molecules are large.
  • A negligible force of attraction between the particles is present in the gas.
  • They do not possess a fixed volume or shape.
  • The compressibility of gas is the highest among solids and liquids.
  • The rate of diffusion and kinetic energy is comparatively higher than that of solids and liquids.
  • Examples: Oxygen, carbon dioxide etc.

Properties of matter

The solid, liquid and gas had properties that can be described through many factors such as solubility, conductivity, density,etc, etc. Here is a detailed description of those properties. Property Solids Liquids Gases
1 Shape Definite Acquire the shape of the container where it is kept It acquires the shape of the container
2 Volume Definite Definite It has the volume of the container.
3 Compressibility Cannot be compressed Negligible compression Very high
4 Fluidity or Rigidity Rigid Fluid Fluid
5 Density High density Less density compared to solid Least density
6 Diffusion Generally do not diffuse Diffuse slowly Diffuse rapidly
7 Free surfaces Any number of free surfaces Only one free surface No free surface.

Chemical properties of matter

  • One of the chemical properties possessed by matter is reactivity. Few materials are highly reactive whereas some are least reactive. 
  • Another property is flammability that is the tendency to burn. When matter burns it reacts with oxygen and results in new substances
  • The next property is acidity. Some metals react with acid and some not. 
  • Heat of combustion
  • Oxidation states

These are the properties of matter listed above. Each and every substance has their own properties. 


The matter is made up of tiny particles that have mass and occupy space. It is classified into three states-Solid,liquid and gas. Each of the states differ in its properties. The properties that are possessed by the matter will be either physical or chemical properties and physical properties are either intensive or extensive.

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