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Introduction: Matter and Measurement

Have you ever wondered why ice melts and water evaporates? Why leaves turn colors in the fall and how a battery generates electricity? Why keeping foods cold slows their spoilage and how our bodies use food to maintain life? Chemistry supplies answers to these questions and countless others like them. Chemistry is the study of the properties of materials and the changes that materials undergo. One of the joys of learning chemistry is seeing how chemical principles operate in all aspects of our lives, from everyday activities like lighting a match to more far-reaching matters like the development of drugs to cure cancer. You are just beginning the journey of learning chemistry. In a sense, this text is your guide on this journey. Throughout your studies, we hope that you will find this text enjoyable as well as educational. As you study, keep in mind that the chemical facts and concepts you are asked to learn are not ends in themselves, but tools to help you better understand the world around you. This first chapter lays a foundation for our studies by providing an overview of what chemistry is about and dealing with some fundamental concepts of matter and scientific measurements.

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