Matter is the stuff that makes up the universe, Everything that takes up space and has mass is matter. All matter is made up of atoms, which are in turn made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. Matter is a substance that has inertia and occupies physical space. According to modern physics, matter consists of various types of particles, each with mass and size.
Matter can exist in several states, There are 4 natural states of matter, 1. Solids 2. Liquids 3. Gases 4. Plasma. The 5th state is the man-made is Bose-Einstein condensates.
In some situations, matter is converted into energy by atomic reactions, also known as nuclear reactions. This type of reaction is fundamentally different from the chemical reaction because it involves changes in the nuclei of atoms. The most common example of an atomic reaction is the hydrogen fusion that occurs inside the sun. The immense pressure inside the sun, and inside other stars, forces atoms of hydrogen together to form atoms of helium. In this process, some of the mass is converted to energy.
5 Phases of Matter
- Solids: The electrons of each atom are constantly in motion, so the atoms have a small vibration, but they are fixed in their position. Because of this, particles in a solid have very low kinetic energy. Solids have a definite shape, as well as mass and volume, and do not conform to the shape of the container in which they are placed. Solids also have a high density, meaning that the particles are tightly packed together.
- Liquids: It is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a (nearly) constant volume independent of pressure. The volume is definite if the temperature and pressure are constant. When a solid is heated above its melting point, it becomes liquid, given that the pressure is higher than the triple point of the substance. Intermolecular forces are still important, but the molecules have enough energy to move relative to each other and the structure is mobile. This means that the shape of a liquid is not definite but is determined by its container.
- Gases:In Gas, the molecules have enough kinetic energy so that the effect of intermolecular forces is small (or zero for an ideal gas), and the typical distance between neighboring molecules is much greater than the molecular size. A gas has no definite shape or volume, but occupies the entire container in which it is confined. A liquid may be converted to a gas by heating at constant pressure to the boiling point, or else by reducing the pressure at constant temperature.
- Plasma: Plasma is not a common state of matter here on Earth, but it may be the most common state of matter in the universe, according to the Jefferson Laboratory. Stars are essentially superheated balls of plasma. Plasma consists of highly charged particles with extremely high kinetic energy. The noble gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) are often used to make glowing signs by using electricity to ionize them to the plasma state.
- Bose–Einstein condensate: It is a state of matter (sometimes called the fifth state of matter) which is typically formed when a gas of bosons at low densities is cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero (-273.15 °C). Under such conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point microscopic quantum phenomena, particularly wavefunction interference, become apparent macroscopically. A BEC is formed by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth (1/100,000) the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures.