Introduction to matter
Matter is anything, such as a solid, liquid or gas, that has weight (mass) and occupies space. For anything to occupy space, it must have volume. Thinking about it, everything on earth has weight and takes up space, and that means everything on earth is matter.
Take a look at this boy blowing bubbles. He is holding a cup with some bubble solution in it. He blows air into the bubble wand, trapping air (gas) in a thin film of the solution.
The boy's cup, liquid and the air he is blowing is matter.
They all have some weight and volume. Different things of matter behave differently. How and why does the cup, water or air feel and behave the way they do?
It is because of their individual properties that they are made up of. Their individual properties are held together (bonded) and the strength of the bonds determine why the cup cannot flow (like water) or why air (gas) can be compressed.
But what are their individual properties made up of?
Good question. Solids, liquids and gases are all made up of very tiny stuff that the naked eye cannot see, called atoms, molecules and/or ions. The illustration below is an idea of how atoms, molecules and ions in matter look like under a microscope.
In this lesson, we shall look at the behavior and states of matter — Solids, Liquids and Gases, which are known as the three states of matter.