card
174

matter

OLogy Series
physics
card
174

matter

OLogy Series
physics

A bike, a tree, a cloud, an ocean -- any object you can name -- it's all made of matter. Even YOU are made of matter. Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. All matter is made of tiny particles called atoms. The only difference between different kinds of matter -- whether you're talking about bugs, rocks, humans, or stars -- is the way their atoms fit together.

The amount of space taken up by matter is its:

density

mass

volume

Are you right?

Correct!

The amount of space taken up by matter is called volume. For example, the volume of a balloon is greater than the volume of a marble.

Matter can be:

a solid, liquid, or gas

only a solid

plasma

Are you right?

Correct!

Matter can be a solid, liquid, or gas. Think about water, or H2O. It's a liquid when it comes out of your faucet, a solid when it's in the form of an ice cube or a glacier, and a gas when you boil a pot of it on the stove.

A liquid has more energy than a solid.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

A liquid has more energy than a solid because the atoms in a liquid can move around. Gas has even more energy because its atoms move even faster.

matter
Made of: tiny particles called atoms
States of matter:solid, liquid, gas
Solid: a substance that keeps its size and shape
Liquid: a substance that flows freely like water
Gas: a substance that has no fixed shape and tends to expand without limit
Cool fact: If you took the space out of all the matter in New York City, Manhattan would fit in a matchbox. Matter has lots of space in it.

Image credits: Eric Hamilton.