Fundamentals of Matter
Everything that you can see around you is made up of matter. Matter is anything that occupies space and mass.
Matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms. Atoms are so tiny that they cannot be seen with naked eye. In fact, it is not possible to see atoms even with the most powerful microscope.
Until the beginning of this century it was thought that atoms were indivisible; they could not be broken up into smaller particles. However, scientific research has proved that atoms can be split into smaller, simpler particles. The main sub atomic particles are protons, electrons and neutrons. Two or more atoms combine to form a group of molecules.
States of matter:
Matter can exist in three forms, These are solid, liquid and gas. The three forms of matter are also called physical states of matter.
A solid is a state of matter which has a definite shape and size. They are rigid bodies they do not flow, They cannot be compressed or squeezed and made to change their shape. Molecules are closely packed, which allows them to resist compression. Inter molecular spaces are minimal. They can be stored without a vessel.
Example: Wood, Glass,Ice
A liquid is a state of matter which has a definite mass and volume but no definite shape. Inter-molecular spaces are more than in solids, but less than in gasses. They cannot be stored without a vessel.
Example: Water, Oil, Mercury
A gas is a state of matter which has a definite mass but no definite volume or shape. Inter-molecular forces of attraction are minimal. These can only be stored in closed vessels.
Example: Steam, Smoke, Air
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