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Name: John
Status: student
Grade: 4-5
Location: GA
Country: USA

How do scientist classify new substances?

Hi John,

In general, we try to group substances according to similar properties, but it also depends on what your field of study is. For example, a chemist might group materials by similar chemical properties (acids, bases, etc.). A mechanical engineer might group materials by physical properties (strength, toughness, etc.). There is no 'universal' classification system that everyone uses.

Hope this helps,
Burr Zimmerman


We start by asking whether Carbon is present. If no, substance is inorganic.

If yes, substance is organic. Then we want to know what building blocks are in the substance. We generally, classify organic compounds by which groups (building blocks) they contain.

Warren Young

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