What is matter?

Take a look at the beautiful scene in Figure 1.What do you see? Perhaps you notice the water and ice.Maybe you are struck by the Sun in the background. All of these images show examples of matter. Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Matter doesn’t have to be visible—even air is matter.

States of Matter All matter is made up of tiny particles, such as atoms, molecules, or ions. Each particle attracts other particles. In other words, each particle pulls other particles toward itself. These particles also are constantly moving. The motion of the particles and the strength of attraction between the particles determine a material’s state of matter.


Figure 1

There are three familiar states of matter—solid, liquid, and gas. A fourth state of matter known as plasma occurs at extremely high temperatures. Plasma is found in stars, lightning, and neon lights. Although plasma is common in the universe, it is not common on Earth.





Source: Glencoe Science-The Nature of Matter-SE_0078617650


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