What is Matter?

What is Matter?

Everything around us is matter. The examples of matter are the books you read, the food you eat, the toys you play with etc.

So what is matter? As we all know that matter is everything around you rocks, pen, water and whatever you see is made up of matter. But the vital question is how do you define matter? According to science matter is defined as everything that has weight and take up space or has volume. Volume is the amount of space something occupies. Example the ball takes up a small volume while the sun occupies a large volume. Likewise, different states of matter will fill volumes in different ways depending how big, little, long or short the object is.

Why do they vary in looks and sizes? That’s because matter comes in different states. And three most common states are known as solid, liquid and gas. Let’s start with most obvious state of matter that is solid state. They are objects that keep their own shape and don’t flow in a given temperature. Example table, sugar cubes, glass, rocks, most metals, etc. Ice is a solid as well but when it melts, it becomes liquid.

Speaking of liquids, they flow move around a little, and fill up containers you put them in like water bottle, so we can say they occupy the space inside the containers we fill them in. But what about the weight of the water? We all know, water has weight if you carry a water bottle with you and as you drink water from the bottle, it gets lighter and lighter.

Next comes the an interesting state of matter that can’t be seen easily but it’s there all the time like air we inhale, which is a gas, the third main state of matter. Is air really a matter and if it is then how we see if it takes up space and has weight. We can prove that with a simple experiment at your home. To do so, take an empty glass and lower it vertically downwards in a vessel filled with water. You will observe that the level of the water inside the glass is less than the level of the water outside it. It is because the air within the glass is trapped and doesn’t allow the water to rise up. It means air as occupied the space inside the glass. Now when you tilt the glass aside, you will see bubbles of air rushing out and it is replaced by water hence proving that air occupies space.

But how do we show that air has weight take 2 empty balloons and tape them to the ends of a meter stick. Then hang the meter stick on a string so that it’s perfectly balanced. Now blow up one of the balloons and stick back to the meter stick. You will find the end of the air filled balloon will bend downwards because giving it the extra weight. Hence proving the fact that air is matter as it has volume and weight.

Did you know, that there are more than three states of matter? Yes, besides the solid, liquid, gaseous there are also three further different states of matter that have been created by man. These are Plasma, Fermionic Condensate and Bose-Einstein Condensate.

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