Chemistry is the study of matter and its transformations.








More specifically, chemistry is the scientific study of matter. So what do we mean by science? Two common "definitions":


What is matter? Stuff. Has mass and occupies space.

Mass: The measure of quantity for matter. Mass is the property of matter resulting in its inertia and and attraction via gravity.



intensive properties








States of Matter. Matter can exist in three states under earth-surface conditions:




















Accuracy and Precision


Images of two targets showing a closely grouped hits vs. a scattered set of hits.













Exponential or scientific notation













Significant Figures


Significant Figures and Calculations: Two basic sets of rules:

  1. Addition/Subtraction rule: Significant figures are determined by looking at the decimal place of the numbers being added or subtracted. The number with the "least decimal places" determines the decimal place of the answer, e.g. if we add 1,216,956 to 214.879, the first number has the fewest decimal places, so the answer is rounded off to the 1's place: 1217170.879 goes to 1217171.











  1. Multiplication/Division rule: In this case we count the digits. The number with the fewest significant digits determines the number of significant digits in the answer.


© R A Paselk

Last modified 27 August 2009