Steam and liquid water are two different forms of the same chemical (pure) substance: water.
A diagram representing at the microscopic level the differences between homogeneous mixtures, heterogeneous mixtures, compounds, and elements
Colors of a single chemical (Nile red) in different solvents, under visible and UV light, showing how the chemical interacts dynamically with its solvent environment.
Native sulfur crystals. Sulfur occurs naturally as elemental sulfur, in sulfide and sulfate minerals and in hydrogen sulfide.
Potassium ferricyanide is a compound of potassium, iron, carbon and nitrogen; although it contains cyanide anions, it does not release them and is nontoxic.
Cranberry glass, while appearing homogeneous, is a mixture consisting of glass and gold colloidal particles of about 40nm in diameter, giving it a red color.
Chemicals in graduated cylinders and beaker.

Chemical substances are often called 'pure' to set them apart from mixtures.

- Chemical substance

Chemical substance

- Mixture
Steam and liquid water are two different forms of the same chemical (pure) substance: water.

2 related topics


An oil painting of a chemist (Ana Kansky, painted by Henrika Šantel in 1932)


Scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter.

Scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter.

An oil painting of a chemist (Ana Kansky, painted by Henrika Šantel in 1932)
Laboratory, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Cologne in Germany.
Solutions of substances in reagent bottles, including ammonium hydroxide and nitric acid, illuminated in different colors
A diagram of an atom based on the Bohr model
Standard form of the periodic table of chemical elements. The colors represent different categories of elements
Carbon dioxide (CO2), an example of a chemical compound
A ball-and-stick representation of the caffeine molecule (C8H10N4O2).
A 2-D structural formula of a benzene molecule (C6H6)
Diagram showing relationships among the phases and the terms used to describe phase changes.
An animation of the process of ionic bonding between sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) to form sodium chloride, or common table salt. Ionic bonding involves one atom taking valence electrons from another (as opposed to sharing, which occurs in covalent bonding)
In the methane molecule (CH4), the carbon atom shares a pair of valence electrons with each of the four hydrogen atoms. Thus, the octet rule is satisfied for C-atom (it has eight electrons in its valence shell) and the duet rule is satisfied for the H-atoms (they have two electrons in their valence shells).
Emission spectrum of iron
During chemical reactions, bonds between atoms break and form, resulting in different substances with different properties. In a blast furnace, iron oxide, a compound, reacts with carbon monoxide to form iron, one of the chemical elements, and carbon dioxide.
The crystal lattice structure of potassium chloride (KCl), a salt which is formed due to the attraction of K+ cations and Cl− anions. Note how the overall charge of the ionic compound is zero.
Hydrogen bromide exists in the gas phase as a diatomic molecule
Democritus' atomist philosophy was later adopted by Epicurus (341–270 BCE).
15th-century artistic impression of Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), a Perso-Arab alchemist and pioneer in organic chemistry.
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier is considered the "Father of Modern Chemistry".
In his periodic table, Dmitri Mendeleev predicted the existence of 7 new elements, and placed all 60 elements known at the time in their correct places.
Top: Expected results: alpha particles passing through the plum pudding model of the atom undisturbed. 
Bottom: Observed results: a small portion of the particles were deflected, indicating a small, concentrated charge.

It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Matter can be a pure chemical substance or a mixture of substances.

The chemical elements ordered in the periodic table

Chemical element

The chemical elements ordered in the periodic table
Estimated distribution of dark matter and dark energy in the universe. Only the fraction of the mass and energy in the universe labeled "atoms" is composed of chemical elements.
Periodic table showing the cosmogenic origin of each element in the Big Bang, or in large or small stars. Small stars can produce certain elements up to sulfur, by the alpha process. Supernovae are needed to produce "heavy" elements (those beyond iron and nickel) rapidly by neutron buildup, in the r-process. Certain large stars slowly produce other elements heavier than iron, in the s-process; these may then be blown into space in the off-gassing of planetary nebulae
Abundances of the chemical elements in the Solar System. Hydrogen and helium are most common, from the Big Bang. The next three elements (Li, Be, B) are rare because they are poorly synthesized in the Big Bang and also in stars. The two general trends in the remaining stellar-produced elements are: (1) an alternation of abundance in elements as they have even or odd atomic numbers (the Oddo-Harkins rule), and (2) a general decrease in abundance as elements become heavier. Iron is especially common because it represents the minimum energy nuclide that can be made by fusion of helium in supernovae.
Mendeleev's 1869 periodic table: An experiment on a system of elements. Based on their atomic weights and chemical similarities.
Dmitri Mendeleev
Henry Moseley

A chemical element refers to all aspects of the species of atoms that have a certain number of protons in their nuclei, including the pure substance consisting only of that species.

Nearly all other naturally occurring elements occur in the Earth as compounds or mixtures.