Solution: A solid white substance A is heated strongly in the absence of air. It decomposes to form a new white substance B and a gas C. The gas has exactly the same properties as the product obtained when carbon is burned in an excess of oxygen.Based on these observations, can we determine whether gas C is an element or a compound?

Problem

A solid white substance A is heated strongly in the absence of air. It decomposes to form a new white substance B and a gas C. The gas has exactly the same properties as the product obtained when carbon is burned in an excess of oxygen.

Based on these observations, can we determine whether gas C is an element or a compound?

Solution

We are asked to determine whether gas C is an element or a compound based on the observations given.

Matter is anything that has mass and volume. Matter can be
 • a 
pure substance which is made up of a single composition
 • a 
mixture which has a variable composition

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