Thursday, March 2nd: What is Matter?

Today we are focusing on the basics of matter!  We will be doing an activity and using the links below to help us to understand more about matter.








Wind can be felt on your skin and you can see the wind move branches of trees. But wind itself it not matter. It is the movement of air, which itself is matter.

Electricity is similar. You can see the result of electricity at work – a light bulb lighting up for example and you can feel electricity as an electric shock. But electricity is just the the movement/flow of an electric charge – it is not matter itself. It is the movement of matter (electrons).

Sound is the result of air movement against your eardrum and not matter itself.

A flame or fire can also pose difficulties. The smoke that rises up from the fire or flame contains vaporized gases and small particles and therefore contains matter. But the fire and flame themselves, the light and heat emitted, are energy, not matter.

Energy is the ability or capacity to do work or supply heat and is NOT matter.

Notice that a lot of items that are matter cannot be seen – at least with the naked eye (atoms, DNA, bacteria, dissolved sugar) and that some items that are non-matter can be felt (heat, wind, electricity).

Some common textbook definitions of matter are: Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Matter has mass and volume.

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